News You Can Use – February 2020

Here is some "news you can use" for your K-12 Outreach programs.

News You Can Use - February 2020

Hello! My name is Sadaf Qazi. I am the FY20 Chair of SWE’s K-12 Outreach Committee. To learn more about our new Outreach Committee structure read the latest All Together blog post. Here is some “news you can use” for your K-12 Outreach programs. As always, please reach out to outreach-chair@swe.org at any time throughout the year. We are happy to help!

In this issue of News You Can Use:

  1. Resources You Can Use
  2. All Together – Your News. Your Community. Your SWE.
  3. Help us increase newsletter subscribers
  4. Wow! Innovation Challenge
  5. Open Volunteer Opportunities on the Outreach Committee – Apply Now!

Resources You Can Use

Outreach Resources

  • Outreach Tool Kit: offers a step-by-step process for you to refer to when planning your outreach event or program. Prepare for your event with a planning worksheet and learn about grant funding available to you as SWE members.
  • Educator Resources: As an educator, SWE membership provides valuable K-12 outreach tools and support.

SWENext/ SWENext Clubs Resources

  • SWENext: The Society of Women Engineers is the world’s largest advocate for women in engineering and technology with a community of over 40,000 professional and collegiate members.
    • SWENext is a way to become part of the SWE community as a student through the age of 18.
  • SWENext Clubs – SWENext clubs are a way for middle school and high school students to connect with SWE members and other SWENexters in their area. SWE members are needed to be SWE counselors for SWENext clubs. If interested, send your information to swenext@swe.org. SWENext clubs can be any size with students in grades K-12.
    • On this page you can find links to other STEM outreach web sites, SWENext and connecting with a SWE section in your area.

Society Resources

  • WE Locals: WE Local is a Society of Women Engineers (SWE) program that brings together participants in all stages of their collegiate and professional journey. The program hosts conferences across the globe so engineers can connect through professional development workshops, inspirational speakers, networking opportunities and outreach activities.
  • WE20 Awards Nomination Applications Are Open! SWE strives to advance and honor the contributions of women at all stages of their careers as well as recognize the successes of SWE members and individuals who enhance the engineering profession through contributions to industry, education and the community. The nomination deadline for all Individual Awards is March 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CT

All Together – Your News. Your Community. Your SWE.

News You Can Use - February 2020

Check out all the great outreach articles on the SWE All Together blog such as “Engineer Stays on Course With Help From Mentors.”

When SWE Magazine last spoke with Victoria Ibarra, she was a senior at the University of Texas at Austin who had found a welcoming place at the university’s Women In Engineering’s “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” event.


Help us increase newsletter subscribers!

The SWENextEd Educator Newsletter provides everyday tips you can use to introduce engineering into the classroom. By subscribing to the newsletter, you will receive regular updates on SWE resources designed to build a more inclusive engineering experience particularly for young women.

Here is what you can do to help:

Have more ideas on how to get the SWENextEd word out to K-12 Educators and increase newsletter subscriptions? Send your suggestions, thoughts and questions to outreach-chair@swe.org.


Wow! Innovation Challenge

The Wow! Innovation Challenge recognizes the innovative outreach techniques being used by SWE sections, MALs and global affiliates. SWE hosts 3 “challenges” per year where a section/MAL will be recognized for a unique, creative approach to a component of outreach. SWE will award a $1,000 outreach stipend to the winning section/MAL/affiliate and will share the winning entries with the entire society.

We have just completed our first Wow! Innovation Challenge of FY20. For this first round we received 14 qualifying submissions. The judges reviewed the submissions, and we are proud to announce the winners below.

SWE Southern Methodist University: First Place Winners

News You Can Use - February 2020

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

News You Can Use - February 2020

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 eight 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.

While we wait for the next challenge to be released, learn more about our past winners and download the Wow! Innovation Challenge FAQ document.


Open Volunteer Opportunities

To apply for an open role, send a brief email to Sadaf Qazi, the Outreach Committee Chair. State your Outreach background and why you are interested in the role.

All roles are for FY20, which runs through June 30, 2020.

Resources Work Group – Innovations Focus Area

The Innovations Focus Area is responsible for creating and judging three challenges a year to identify best practices in outreach. Winning submissions are given a $1,000 stipend to further the outreach efforts of the section and an interview for publication in the News You Can Use newsletter to highlight the best practices. This volunteer role includes:

  • Challenge creation
  • Submission review/judging
  • Interview and write-up

Time Commitment:

  • 1 to 3 hours/month helping to create challenges and review submissions
  • 1 hour/month to attend a Resources Work Group phone call every two weeks

Resources Work Group – Outreach Tools

The Outreach Tools Focus Area is responsible for creating and delivering how-to guides and in-person training for adult advocates. Content includes creating and posting outreach event ideas and examples and adult advocate training for outreach. This volunteer role includes:

  • Creating/providing how-to guides for adult advocates
  • Creating/editing existing training on Advanced Learning Center
  • Creating/presenting in-person training for adult advocates at WE Locals and the annual conference
  • Experience creating training or workshops is desired.

Time Commitment:

  • 2 to 4 hours/month helping to create and test training
  • 1 hour/month to attend a Resources Work Group phone call every two weeks

Training and Certification Workgroup – Role Models Matter (Two volunteers needed)

The training and certification workgroup is responsible for developing training for SWE members and adult advocates. They are responsible for ensuring that we are meeting the needs of our members and giving them the necessary training to perform outreach. The Role Models Matter focus area will focus on adapting the existing Role Models Matter training (used at the Annual Conference to prepare volunteers for Invent It. Build It.) to service additional groups of interest including SWENexters, collegiate students and adult outreach advocates.

A volunteer for this workgroup will do the following:

  • Evaluate existing Role Models Matter training to determine what content should stay and what should be improved
  • Identify gaps in the Role Models Matter training and research/develop content to address the gaps
  • Collaborate with other workgroup members to evaluate the best method to administer the training
  • Candidates with experience volunteering at Invent It. Build It. or who have previously taken the Role Models Matter training are encouraged to apply!

Time Commitment:

  • 4-5 hours/month evaluating and developing Role Models Matter training
  • 1 hour/month attending the full workgroup meeting

Publications Work Group – SWENextEd Focus Area

The SWENextEd Focus Area creates publications targeted to K-12 STEM educators and informal educators. These publications include monthly newsletters, educator spotlight blog posts and webinars for our Advance Learning Center. Volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Sourcing and synthesizing content for monthly newsletters
  • Identifying and interviewing educators to feature in our All Together Blog
  • Seeking speakers for webinars

Time Commitment:

  • 8 hours/month writing newsletter content or blog posts
  • 2 hours/month to attend a Publications Work Group phone call every two weeks

Publications Work Group – Adult Advocate Focus Area

The Adult Advocate Focus Area creates publications targeted to adults looking to play an active role in bringing STEM resources to their community. These publications include monthly newsletters, blog posts and webinars for our Advance Learning Center. This work group also manages the SWE Outreach Incubator Facebook page. Volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Sourcing and synthesizing content for monthly newsletters
  • Identifying and interviewing adult advocates to feature in our All Together Blog
  • Seeking speakers for webinars
  • Monitoring and sharing resources in Outreach Incubator Facebook group

Time Commitment:

  • 8 hours/month writing newsletter content or blog posts
  • 1 hour/week monitoring Outreach Incubator
  • 2 hours/month to attend a Publications Work Group phone call every two weeks
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