“Eastern NC SWE Inspires Girl Scouts to ‘Be That Engineer!'” was written by Ashley Suarez, Eastern North Carolina SWE Section Outreach Chair.
Have you ever wanted to make a working prothesis out of a PVC pipe? Do you know how to make a functioning robot arm with rubber bands and paper towel rolls? Can you make a marble stop sliding down a tube?
Following a little delay due to Hurricane Dorian, 40 Girl Scouts of the Coastal Pines did all the above! The Eastern North Carolina SWE Section hosted the “Be That Engineer Expo 2019” on October 5th, 2019 with the support of a PDG Grant. The event was a day-long workshop for local Girl Scouts held at the North Carolina State University McKimmon Center. Volunteers from within and outside of the Section worked with attendees to “Think Like an Engineer” to solve the following problems:
- Create a prosthetic leg with given supplies to meet the needs of an “amputee” team member
- Build a robot arm to pick up a cup with only the supplies provided meeting specific requirements
- Slow down a marble
Attendees used engineering problem-solving methods to define the problem, understand the goal, brainstorm a solution, build a solution, test the solution and adjust as needed. Volunteers worked hand in hand with attendees to coach them through the engineering design process.
Attendees also received some information on SWENext and a SWENext Patch! At the end of the event the Girl Scouts got some mentoring from volunteers about how to complete their “Take Action” portion of the “Think Like an Engineer” Journey outside of the event.
Throughout the event, volunteers overheard the attendees commenting they “wanted to be engineers when they grew up” and that “problem solving was easy and fun” so they “wanted to do more of [it].” These quotes alone show how impactful outreach events can be!
Looking for help planning a similar outreach event with your section? Feel free to contact the Eastern North Carolina SWE Section at email@example.com.
Ashley Suarez is a Packaging Commercialization Engineer with Merck and has been an engineer in the Pharmaceutical Industry for 8.5 years. She works out of Wilson, North Carolina and resides in the Triangle area. She loves spending time outside of work with her husband, dog and 4-month-old son. She is the Outreach Chair for the Eastern NC SWE Section and would love to hear from you about what your section does for outreach!