Iowa State University Best Practice: Senior Sleepover

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at Iowa State University does many events throughout the year with the ultimate goal of supporting women in engineering and encouraging future generations of women to pursue engineering.  One of these events is the Senior Sleepover, which brings in 34 high school senior girls who are interested in engineering to showcase different engineering opportunities at Iowa State.  This event is an overnight activity and offers a lot to those attending.  Each engineering major presents to the attendees so they can learn where their interests may lie.  In addition to these presentations, the girls also learn about other opportunities they would have if they attend Iowa State, such as study abroad and different student organizations they can participate in.

This event not only gives insight on each aspect of the different engineering disciplines, but it also allows the high school seniors to interact with our SWE members to hear firsthand perspectives of  what college is like for a woman in engineering.  After presentations, the girls head to dinner with SWE members at an on-campus dining facility, and then to a workout facility to participate in fun activities, such as rock-climbing.  All of these events are designed to give the girls a real college experience.  To learn that, while we are women engineers, there is more that defines us.  It also reinforces their decision to pursue engineering and gives added confidence, knowing that someone else is successfully becoming a female engineer.

In addition to interaction with SWE members, the weekend ends with a banquet attended by the high school students and their parents as well as faculty from each department.  This is a great opportunity for the girls to network and for their parents to ask any unanswered questions.

Overall, the Senior Sleepover is a great experience for both the high school seniors and the SWE members.  It is a big undertaking for our chapter, but with continued success, we are fueled to keep growing and improving this event, furthering the goals of SWE, and enriching the lives of future women engineers.

This is a great recruiting event for Iowa State and we would love to answer any questions you may have about starting this event up at your own school.  Please email Emily and Abby at isuswesleepover@gmail.com with any questions.

~Article submitted by Iowa State University.

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