Get to Know Your Region H Professional Section: Southwest Michigan

Section Number/Name: H013 / Southwest Michigan

Section President: Jacquie Geda

Section Representative(s): Rebecca Summ

SWE Lunch & Learn: How can we be lean every day?

A Factory of One, by Daniel Markovitz

We have heard a lot about the importance lean through our labs, Six Sigma trainings, and even our everyday work. The Southwest Michigan SWE section wanted to find some simple ways all of us can be lean and provide more efficiency in our daily activities.

Aaron Youngsted, Whirlpool Corporation Master Black Belt, has led a course called “Keep Calm and Lean On” that addressed this question. He spoke on the topics that he covers in his course and highlighted some tangible examples on how we can apply lean practices each day. For example, he showed us some Google tools that we could use to manage our workflow and visually see what is the top priority, like a personal kanban. At the end of the session, we were given a book called Factory of One to help us integrate more tools into our lives!

SWE Girl Scouts Day: Frozen Adventures in Engineering

The Southwest Michigan section of SWE (Society of Women Engineers) introduced 3rd ­-6th grade Girl Scouts to eye­opening Science and Engineering principles through engaging activities. The theme of the event was “Frozen Adventures in Engineering”. The young girls had the opportunity to participate in various hands­on activities such as Making Ice­Cream, Building Catapults, Constructing Towers, Wiring Circuit Bugs, Creating Silly­Putties, Designing Edible Cars, and finally taking part in the Edible Car­Racing Contest. These fun activities exposed the girls to various disciplines such as Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Materials Engineering and Computer Engineering.

The entire group of around 70 girls were divided into smaller groups, to encourage the girls to work together and solve the activity challenges. It also helped them improve their social and team­building skills. During the day, they were able to interact with Whirlpool Women Engineers, that helped them gain some insight into the professional world of engineering. Over lunchtime, SWMI SWE invited Latha Ravi, an Engineering Director at Whirlpool, to share her experiences as a Girl Scout in India. Latha Ravi had won the honorary Presidential Girl Scouts Award in India during her school days. She showed her award and shared a few pictures, which was very inspirational to all the girls. They had a lot of fun interacting with her and learned about “Being Bold”, “Standing up for yourself” and “Staying Strong”.

All in all, the “Frozen Adventures in Engineering Event” was a big success. SWMI SWE had a lot of fun hosting the Girl Scouts. Hopefully, we have encouraged the young girls to pursue careers in Science and Engineering fields. We are positive that they will be great women engineers in the future!

Article submitted by Rebecca Summ

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