Welcome to the Heartland!
Hi Region H,
Welcome to the Region H blog! This is your source for SWE news in the heartland. My name is Erin Syverson and I am the Region H Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE) for Fiscal Year 13 (FY13). If you have any suggestions for the blog or would like to have something posted on the blog, please contact me at email@example.com.
Have a wonderful day,
This year, the Society of Women Engineers at the University of Michigan had the opportunity to partner with a UM alumnus to run a summer outreach program in India. Walchandnagar Industries Limited in an engineering company located in Walchandnagar, which is about a 3 hour bus ride from Pune, India. The company is a strong supporter of the Bharat Children’s Academy and Jr. College, a local school that we partnered with for the week.
The week consisted of a 4 day summer camp in which we worked with 80 7th, 8th, 9th, and 11th grade students. The camp was 4 hours each day, and consisted of 2 engineering based modules each day. Each module focused on a variety of lessons in engineering, including teamwork, the design-build-test process, renewable energy, ethics in engineering, and aerodynamics.
If you want to check out more of the work we did, you can visit our blog- http://sweoverseas2013.blogspot.com/
We are so thankful that we had this amazing opportunity and appreciated all of the support from SWE we’ve received all year!
- Post written by the University of Michigan SWE section.
It’s no secret that women are severely underrepresented in STEM fields, especially engineering. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, women comprise less than 20% of undergraduate engineering majors nationwide. Given that diversity in the workplace is essential to harness creativity, explore different perspectives, and succeed in a globally competitive environment, it would behoove educators to point girls toward a STEM path at an early age. Fun and interesting outreach activities–such as the recent Introduce a Girl to Engineering national campaign–do just that
There’s a lot of research on why girls study certain fields, key factors being confidence, motivation, and interest. In general, girls lack confidence in math and science starting at an early age. This isn’t because they perform poorly in comparison to boys; in fact in many cases, girls outperform boys in math and science. The problem is their self-perception. Girls feel they are only good at a subject in which they easily get straight A’s, whereas a boy has lower expectations of what is “good.” It’s important to constantly encourage and support girls in math and science, therefore immediately rewarding good work is part of establishing a firm foundation.
Girls also are motivated by and interested in different things. It’s important to keep this in mind when designing STEM activities so that girls can see how their interests fit into the field. For example, girls and other under-represented populations are highly motivated by careers and activities that contribute to society, help improve someone’s life, or better the world. They are much less motivated by competition and money.
The week of February 17-23 was National Engineer’s Week, and February 21 kicked off the national campaign challenging groups, individuals, and organizations to Introduce a Girl to Engineering. At St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, we hosted an event targeted at pre-school through 7th graders and had an astonishing turnout of 252 girls from 63 different schools. The event was an “open house” style and completely free. Similar to a STEM carnival, it was organized with eight different booths of interesting, hands-on engineering and science activities. Girls were able to visit each booth at their own pace to complete the activities with the help of volunteers.
The evening was very successful, and everyone (students and parents!) left with smiles and excitement from their night of exploring engineering and science. Much of this success was because the entire event was designed around girls. The activities were interesting to them (making lip gloss, designing surgical instruments) or geared toward their intrinsically helpful nature (when showing how soap can power a cardboard boat, the question was posed about how this could lead to “greener” power). In addition, girls were awarded stickers at each activity, a participation certificate, and prizes for completing activities. And to top it all off, there were no boys allowed! This really let the girls explore science and engineering without any pressure or competition.
Getting young women interested in engineering and science at an early age is essential to guiding them into STEM careers. Take on the challenge—show the FUN and INTERESTING side of engineering to as many girls as you can!
By Jodi Prosise, PhD
Assistant Professor of Engineering
St. Ambrose University
Check out this article written by Region H’s own Kaitlyn Bunker, the FY13 Collegiate Director regarding the importance of graduate student members of SWE.
Here is a brief excerpt from the article:
“All collegiate sections are different, and some even have graduate student committees or groups as a part of their SWE section. Others may have a smaller number of graduate student members that participate within the section – this has been my experience so far. Either way, don’t forget about graduate students! We bring a unique perspective to collegiate SWE sections, and are a crucial piece of the Society as a whole.”
Over this past year the Purdue section has been involved in a number of interesting activities! Below are links to 6 posts from their own blog. All of these documents were written by the Purdue University SWE Section.
Board of Directors
Society Committee/Taskforce Chairs and Coordinators
The deadline for FY14 SWEFL (SWE Future Leaders) Program Nominations has been extended to May 24, 2013. This is due to the change of date for the Collegiate Leadership Forum (CLF). The CLF will now be held the Saturday of WE13 October 26, 2013.
In order to better serve more future leaders, moving the event date will allow more SWEFLs to be selected, as well as give them the opportunity to attend the conference together and experience the ‘spirit of SWE’ firsthand. SWE is building on the past success of CLF by expanding the program. This will allow us to increase the number of SWEFLs and expand the audience of the CLF program.
Please take this opportunity to nominate outstanding collegiate members. Nominees should have no less than two years left of a current degree program (i.e. Freshmen and Sophomores for undergraduates or 1st/2nd year graduate students going for a doctorate) and shall have a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0. Candidates for SWEFL nominations should be active collegiate members of the Society and have exhibited strong leadership potential and interest in extended involvement in the Society beyond the collegiate experience. Nominees who have been selected as SWEFLs for a previous FY or have attended the Collegiate Leadership Forum (CLF) as another function are precluded from being nominated. SWEFL candidates are chosen based on their nominations and availability to attend the CLF this Fall at WE13 in Baltimore, MD, October 26, 2013. Attending CLF is a valuable opportunity for up and coming SWE collegiate leaders to meet other influential members of our Society and be exposed to SWE beyond the section level.
Nominators should have an established relationship with the nominee that permits detailed insight into the nominee’s leadership potential and interest in the society. The nominator cannot be the nominee herself, as one of the leadership metrics used for establishing future leadership is to establish networks and relationships. Nominators are not required to be members of SWE, but should have some knowledge of the Society to understand the value of the program and the Society goals. Examples of past nominators include professors, counselors, and SWE section presidents.
The nomination form asks for your contact information and the SWEFL nominee’s contact information. Additionally, the following questions are part of the nomination:
1. Current involvement in university section and/or other Society activities
2. Potential future involvement in university section and/or other Society activities
3. Activities and responsibilities in other organizations that show positive leadership skills and abilities
4. Traits and capabilities of the nominee that indicate her leadership potential
5. How the nominee would benefit from participating in the SWEFL program
6. How others would benefit from the nominee participating in the SWEFL program
The nominee will receive a request for follow up information after the nomination form is complete and submitted. I look forward to receiving your nominations.
All of the nominations already received will be considered for a SWEFL appointment. There is no need to resubmit. However, if you have submitted and you are not able to attend WE13, please let the selection committee know.
FY13 Deputy Director of Regions
As another year of classes and SWE activities wrap up May is the time of transitions. Whether you are transitioning into your first SWE leadership position, or out of your last collegiate SWE position, from living in the dorms to back home with your parents after your first year of college, or from your college apartment to your first apartment alone and with a full time job, there are transitions happening for everyone. As I transition from being a college student to a college graduate, I have received a lot of advice (solicited and unsolicited). Here is some more unsolicited advice.
- Stay involved. Renew your SWE membership. If you are still a collegiate student for at least a little longer, SWE provides you the opportunity to grow both as an individual and professionally. If you are a graduating collegiate, becoming a professional member will allow you to maintain your network of ambitious female (and male) engineers and other professionals beyond those at the company you will soon be employed by. Consider being a leader within your current, or new section.
- Reflect. Take the time to remember all of the things you have accomplished over the past year and all of the things you are working to improve. Write them down. Whether it is updating your resume or keeping a scrapbook, you have accomplished things personally, academically, and professionally over the past year. Keep track.
- Keep in touch. LinkedIn and Facebook are fantastic ways to keep up with those people that you have grown to know, but will be seeing less of as you transition out of this academic year.
- Be flexible and optimistic. Things might not be what you expected. If you are transitioning into a leadership position within your section, or into your first job of your career, there are going to be some unexpected turns. Roll with it.
Those are just a few pieces of advice I have picked up from others over the past few months. No matter what stage you are currently in, I personally think commencement speeches and convocation speeches both have things to offer. Here are links to a few speeches at convocation and commencement ceremonies.
NASA is hosting its Fourth Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex May 20-24, 2013. We hope members of SWE Region H will join us if they are in the Orlando area! International competitors from 50 universities have created unique and innovative solutions that NASA may one day use for an actual lunar excavation device or payload. Teams from Oakton Community College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University, Iowa State University, University of North Dakota, and the Milwaukee School of Engineering will be competing and we hope that you will support their efforts.
These science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students are our future scientists, astronauts, engineers, physicists, and entrepreneurs. Visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and marvel as the Lunabots mine “moon dirt” in a race against the clock.
Follow Lunabotics on the web – www.nasa.gov/lunabotics, on Facebook – www.facebook.com/Lunabotics, and on Twitter –
. For information about the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and ticket prices, please visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com/index.asp. Check out the Lunabotics Flyer 2013.
Join us in May and meet our future workforce. Visit America’s spaceport where history is made!