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December SWENexter Meet & Greet

This month we are highlighting three SWENexter's for our SWENexter Meet & Greet series. Learn about the journey of Lauren, Megan, and Michaela and why they love STEM!
December Swenexter Meet & Greet

Meet Lauren, Miss Southeast Texas’ Outstanding Teen and SWENexter

December Swenexter Meet & GreetWith the help of our Lone Star Princesses and other titleholders, we created a little sparkle and demonstrated just that at our latest virtual Princess Party.

To prepare, I had the girls gather four simple ingredients: rock salt, ice cubes, individual flavored coffee creamers, and a Ziploc bag.

After a quick princess introduction with Disney-themed music playing in the background, I explained to our eager participants that the scientific method has five basic steps:

  1.  Make an observation.
  2.  Ask a question.
  3.  Form an explanation.
  4.  Make a prediction.
  5.  Test the prediction.

Together, we gathered all four ingredients, answered all questions, and put all the ingredients in the Ziploc bag. I explained that rock salt allows the temperature of the coffee creamers to get cold. We predicted that after a few minutes of shaking our bags, the coffee creamers would eventually harden from a liquid to a solid. We had a great time sampling our guilt-free ice cream! FYI – depending on what flavored creamer was used, it only amounts to 30 calories. I used a caramel macchiato.

As a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) advocate, it’s my responsibility to show youth new and fun ways to interact with science and math! We successfully accomplished the task that night.

Interested in becoming a future scientist? Check out these fun organizations: Girl ScoutsGirls Who Code,  Girl Start and my “Learn with Lauren” InstagramTV series“.

Meet Megan, a SWENexter

I’m a tech enthusiast who loves to explore Computer Science, specifically Artificial Intelligence. I enjoy these areas because of how impactful they are in today’s society. I truly believe that technology is changing the world and I want to be a part of that change. The way that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been able to power society with their immense computing capabilities is extremely fascinating to me. STEM is essential to modern society and is constantly evolving with the amazing innovations and capabilities of society.

Last summer, I interned in Machine Learning and also conducted COVID-19 research using Machine Learning.

I am also a Vex Robotics state championship qualifier and am the lead build for team 2772J. I’ve co-founded Think Fast Robotics to make robotics and engineering more accessible to girls. Our team helps girls learn engineering design fundamentals. What they learn is applied to robotics through our international apprenticeship program.

I am a proud STEMinist. I am a passionate woman and I’m a STEM advocate. I strongly believe in creating more STEM opportunities for girls and enjoy working for that cause.

I am the founder and executive director of Tech Girls United. Through this program, we provide opportunities for girls in Computer Science. Recently, we hosted a camp on Data Science. This camp had 100 participants from 18 countries, and 15 states.

I’m also a creative director for Reinvented Magazine, a nonprofit organization reinventing the perception of women in stem. I’m on the board of directors, contributing to executive decisions. I also lead the branding team, working on projects to empower girls globally. I’m the nonprofit president of GAITEway (Girls in AI and Tech Education), also leading my school chapter.

I’ve also spoken at Girlvasion. Girlvasion is hosted by GirlUp. There, I spoke about ML and AI and helped program participants ideate for their computer science/engineering projects. I’ve volunteered with Girls Who Code, mentoring 20+ students in app development. In the past I have also judged and mentored at hackathons.

Meet Michaela, a SWENexter

December Swenexter Meet & GreetI am a freshman in high school in Washington, D.C. I am passionate about STEM and I see myself as a Cyber Ambassador.

I am the Student Coordinator for the Banneker Air Force 1s CyberPatriot Club, which was founded on September 30, 2020. We are a Title I School, and the only public school CyberPatriot Club (Club) in the District of Columbia. The Club currently has 3 girls and 2 boys. All student members are freshmen and BIPOC. The Club will compete as 2 teams: a girls’ team and a boys’ team. The estimated cost to secure the necessary hardware, software and licenses in order to compete was $11,000. I set up a Gofundme and applied to STEM for HER to win a grant that would help cover the costs.

I also have 13 college credits from the Community College of Baltimore County, mainly consisting of cybersecurity courses.

In addition, I teach online cyber safety to young people. Finally, I prepare Generation Alpha for STEM careers by teaching them how to code using Scratch.

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