Ever wonder if those random outreach events you volunteer for really make a difference? SWE has recently launched a portal called Sweeter Futures whose purpose is the track the collective impact of SWE members on the future of engineering. This initiative was started in Region B and has gone national. Eventually this portal will become a resource for finding opportunities to get involved with outreach activities. Until it reaches that critical mass, SWE is asking all members to log the time they spend on outreach activities. I joined the site shortly after the participating in the DuPage Engineer’s Week event so I could log in my hours. This site has great potential so go check it out!
You know how there are those events you hear about year after year and you never get around to doing because you’re too busy or its too far away or you’d rather be lazy? And then you finally try it and you think to yourself, why did I wait so long? That was my experience at the DuPage Area Engineers Week event at IIT this weekend. First of all, there were tons of people there, which reassures me about the future of engineers and engineering innovations in this country. Secondly, there were some awesome engineers (including SWE members) sharing their love for their careers which always inspires me.
SWE had a room where kids made and tested four different types of paper airplanes to earn their wings. We also had a booth in the hall to encourage the kids to talk to the engineers by doing a Scavengineer Hunt. All the kids said they learned something interesting and I had several parents tell me how great it was. It was fun to see the kids turn to their parents and say, I can interview you! That’s how I knew which moms to try to recruit to be involved with SWE! Added bonus!
I’m definitely going to block my calendar for next year’s EWeek celebration! I will also remember to bring a camera and some cards to hand out to moms about SWE. Will you join me?
Another discussion we had at the most recent networking dinner I attended was how the number of women in engineering doesn’t seem to be increasing. At my new company, the whole development team is female which was shocking to me. There are definitely more women in this software company than anywhere else I have worked. However, I know these other engineering women speak truths. At my alma mater, women account for only 10% of the students in the computer science department. Decreasing attrition of female professionals college students is one thing, but we need to encourage more women to get into the pipeline in the first place. How do we do that? Outreach events! Lucky for you, our section has two great opportunities coming up to get involved. And if you can’t volunteer, spread the word to girls you know. Even if they decide engineering isn’t for them, at least they should know they have a choice!
College and Career Awareness Expo for 4th – 8th graders
April 28, 2012 at Harper College in Palatine from 9am to 1pm
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
DuPage Area Engineering Week Expo
Saturday, February 25th, at the IIT Rice Campus in Wheaton from 10:30am to 3:30pm
VOLUNTEER AT THE FUTURE CITY COMPETITION
A student design competition for 6th-8th grade students hosted by Chicago area engineers.
volunteer to www.futurecitychicago.org
Do to unforeseen circumstances the date for the REGIONAL FINALS has been changed to SATURDAY – January 29th at the University of Illinois Chicago campus
Hope for see you there where you can witness a vision of the future.