The FY20 Wow! Innovation Challenge #1 recognizes the innovative outreach techniques being used by SWE sections, MALs and global affiliates in the form of a $1,000 outreach stipend for first place and $500 for second place. The first and second winners from our first challenge, below, are SWE Southern Methodist University (SWE SMU) and SWE New England Shoreline (SWE-NESS).
SWE Southern Methodist University: First Place Winners
The members of SWE Southern Methodist University are passionate about sharing engineering with the next generation of young women. One effective way to achieve this goal was to partner with organizations that share the same interest. They collaborated with SMU’s Women in Science and Engineering chapter to plan an engineering activity that was used in one of the section’s monthly WiSE days. During these events, local elementary schoolers visit the SMU campus and enjoy themed STEM activities.
This SWE chapter also launched a new program, Mustang Inspire, to encourage high school SWENext students in the Dallas area to explore different engineering disciplines. In addition to completing engineering activities, these students received a tour of the SMU engineering school and gained mentorship about college from SMU SWE students. Furthermore, the chapter has a tradition of volunteering at Invent It, Build It, a SWENext event held at the WE global conference each fall. Last November, all of the chapter members that attended WE19 volunteered for this event.
By creating new partnerships and continuing outreach traditions, the Southern Methodist University Chapter has enabled young women to explore STEM disciplines and discover a passion for engineering.
SWE New England Shoreline Section: Second Place Winners
The New England Shoreline Section was chartered in 1989 and has focused on outreach activities for most of its 30 years. The section has collaborated with the Girl Scout Councils in both Connecticut and Rhode Island/Massachusetts for most of that time. This year they have 8 separate workshops scheduled between the two councils, servicing girls from K-12. Six of these programs help the girls complete the design challenges required for the “Think Like an Engineer” Journeys and provide them the knowledge to complete their journey by developing and implementing a “Take Action Project” using the Design Engineering process taught in the design challenges. At each of these sessions, a leader/adult program is offered to either help leaders support the girls in their Take Action Project or educate them on opportunities for girls in Engineering.
The section also supports the Global Leadership Conference for Senior/Ambassadors held in Rhode Island each year and attracting High School level Girl Scouts from all over New England. At this two day event, the section runs the entire STEM track consisting of four different workshops.
The section supports E-Week activities by putting up E-Week displays at Libraries and running a drop-in program at the Providence Children’s Museum.
Once again, congratulations to SWE Southern Methodist University and SWE New England Shoreline! First place winners receive $1000 and second place winners $500. We hope this award will help further your outreach efforts!