The process of transitioning to college or career can be intimidating and stressful. The college selection process in particular has only been further complicated in the past year due to the effects of the pandemic. Those initial conversations and nervous questions about the details of campus life are partially lost for the time being, and we need to find alternative paths to rebuild that connection, especially for female-identifying students considering a STEM career.
Having access to support and role models is critical for those students who might have even further concerns about jumping headfirst into a male-dominated field. In a similar way, graduating college seniors have also been impacted by the new normal. Moving to a new city as a graduate can feel especially difficult because it’s hard to know where to even start to build your professional circle, and meeting new friends seems intimidating even without social distancing requirements.
WOW! Innovation Challenge overview
This year’s WOW! Innovation Challenge is an opportunity to showcase the strong SWE culture that your college campus or professional section offers. We are challenging all competing sections to create a 4-5 minute video that highlights the best attributes of your section. For both section types, we request details about your school or workplace and the surrounding town, the makeup of your SWE section and how great it is, and some of the unique activities, outreach, or advocacy efforts that your section has been involved in. For collegiate sections we also request that you share pertinent details about your engineering department.
The full details on the requirements of the challenge can be found in our challenge packet, here.
Apply for this WOW! Innovation Challenge by May 31, 2021!
SWE has hosted similar challenges for collegiate sections in the past, with very beneficial results! One of our past winners, Georgia Tech, can be seen here:
These videos have already had an impact on current SWENexters…
Sheyla, a high school sophomore from California, watched the video from Drexel’s SWE section, and said she appreciated the ability to see firsthand the different options that were out there, and that being able to watch these videos when she starts actively searching for a school would help her “[be] able to experience the environment and learn about all the diverse options at a college”.
Ayonnah, a SWENexter from Virginia, said “As a senior in high school, I have been worried about not making that many friends in college especially if it’s in a new environment that’s thousands of miles from Virginia.” She said she was especially impressed by the USC and Georgia Tech SWE videos. “[They were] so inspiring because of the fun activities all of the girls were doing together while at the same time getting to make connections that will help them further their careers.” The commitment to outreach that USC’s SWE section showed off in their video helped Ayonnah make the decision to attend USC.
Your submission could make a big difference!
You could make a similar impact on the next generation of engineers as they prepare for the transition to college and career. Not only will you be helping them connect with the school or community that fits them the best, you could be recruiting a new class of talented and dedicated SWE members as well.
We are looking forward to seeing your videos, and so are the next class of collegiate and graduate SWE members!