Poway High School SWENext
Poway High School (PHS) SWENext was founded in 2018 by Founder and Past-President, Madalyn Nguyen. Their club’s mission is to encourage members to become future engineers and STEM leaders and to be positive female role models by inspiring younger girls. They also use their club as a way to support each other for their robotics team, Team Spyder. This year, thanks to the support of SWENext, their robotics team has an all-female executive board for the first time ever!
PHS SWENext regularly creates, organizes, and hosts several outreach events for elementary and middle school students. One of their most impactful events is Girls in STEM Inspiration Day. This event introduces K-8 students to the different facets of engineering. During the event, students have the opportunity to tour a machine shop and engage in hands-on engineering challenges. In these challenges, the students create memory boxes, voice recorder cards, puzzles, bookmarks, and door hangers. PHS SWENexters allow the students to use CAD (Computer Aided Design) to draft their creations! While the students learn about engineering, their parents attend a bias literacy workshop that focuses on advocacy. PHS SWENext truly has a passion for outreach, and it’s really exemplified in their Girls in STEM Inspiration Day!
When the world began to shut down in March 2020, high schools were forced to cancel in-person classes for the year, and many students felt isolated. PHS SWENext noticed this disconnect and immediately began to find solutions for bringing SWENexters and other students together. As a result, they adapted their 2nd Annual STEM Careers Series to a virtual platform to promote mental wellness and STEM engagement. This was a weekly program that ran from May to July that featured many SWE members, health professionals, and SWE advocates. Topics ranged from PPE, rocket science, facility tours, healthcare, bias literacy, and tips for starting a SWENext Club. In total, this program had 700 participants globally! In addition to the STEM Careers Series, PHS SWENext also created a Virtual Global Engineering Challenge to allow students to improve their engineering skills from the safety of their homes.
PHS SWENexters have received many recognitions for their contributions to the STEM community. They received the SWENext Best Practices Award at WE20. Some of the individual awards that their members have received include the Northrop Grumman Community Award (Madalyn Nguyen and Abigail Nguyen), Local Innovator Award (May He and Jenna Cao), and the Engaged Advocate Award (Dr. Tracy Nguyen – Counselor). After creating many successful events, PHS SWENext is now spreading their love for engineering all across the globe! They have had virtual discussions with SWENext Jakarta to help them launch their club, and they are in the process of bringing SWENext to Paraguay, Libya, and Benin.
If you’d like to see what these SWENexters accomplish next, follow them on Instagram, @phs_swenext! If you are interested in starting a SWENext Club or just want to learn more, email email@example.com.
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