Enloe Women in Computer Science SWENext
Enloe Women in Computer Science SWENext Club is based in Raleigh, NC, and currently has 30 members in grades 9-12. Their club is very unique because they specifically focus on the computer science aspect of STEM! This club’s journey began when a student at Enloe Magnet High School discovered her passion for computer science. She was 1 of 5 girls in her CS class at her high school and was disappointed that there was not a lot of female representation in her class. There was a Computer Science Club on her campus already; however when she went to the first meeting, to her disappointment, she was 1 of only 2 girls. She started the club with just a few friends 2 years ago and their club now has over 30 members who are interested in all areas of STEM!
Through their programming, Enloe SWENext has found great ways to connect with other women in engineering. Last year, Enloe SWENext brought a guest speaker from North Carolina State University, who was the president of the NC State Women in Computer Science Club. She gave a talk about degree paths at her college and how she overcame the challenges of being a woman in the CS field. She invited the club to participate in events on the NC State campus, like Hack-a-thons, and has remained in touch with the club. Additionally, these SWENexters have created a program to spread awareness about STEM role models. Prior to the pandemic, they regularly made posters about inspirational women in STEM that they put around their campus to recruit students for their club and spread awareness about the impacts women have made in various fields. This year, given that their school is mostly online, they will replicate this program with a series of Instagram posts!
Enloe SWENext has also had success with virtual events. A club member fan-favorite event was a virtual panel with University North Carolina, Chapel Hill Computer Science Students from the Women in Computer Science club. They answered questions the students had, shared stories about why they decided to pursue Computer Science, and gave advice about STEM majors and future careers. About 15 club members attended the event and especially loved the interactive nature of the Q&A session. If they could do it all over again, they would advertise their event to their entire student body so more students could attend.
If you’d like to see more of Enloe SWENext’s accomplishments, follow them on Instagram @Enloewics! And if you are interested in starting a SWENext Club or just want to learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org!
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