SWE Region D Conference in Tennessee

The  South East Region D Society of Women’s Conference was held in Tennessee March 26th-28th. The event was hosted by the Tennessee Tech University. The theme was, “A Sea of Opportunities.”  Four of our SWE-CM members were able to attend: Cheryl Kinchen, Divya Radhakrishnan, Chris Cathcart and Angela Berry. Highlights included the opening reception, section development training, workshops, a career fair, SWE boutique, a dinner with guest speaker Jonna Gerkins, presenting, “The State of SWE,” and guest speaker Andrea Clewley presenting, “The State of Region D”.  The awards banquet was the grand finale that included a fantastic Key Note Speaker, Trudy Harper. Cheryl Kinchen, our SWE-CM Section President, was recognized for 10 years SWE membership during the awards banquet.

Chris Cathcart, our SWE-CM Alternate Section Representative, presented, “Interviewing, How to Make a Good Impression”, and a Leadership Module, “Increase Membership.”

Cheryl Kinchen provided systems engineering leadership support to collegiate and professional engineers with her presentation, “You don’t have to be a spy to advance your career, but it helps.” Key points included: ways to gather the information you need while protecting your identity, applying Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) for successful results, and how to find the right company and convincing them you are the right candidate.

Save the date! Our next Region D Conference will be held in Miami, Florida 17-20 March 2016.

From Judging Robotic teams to Mentoring Future Engineers

Our SWE-CM Section President, Cheryl Kinchen, served as a technical Judge for three days during the North Carolina Regional FIRST Robotics Competition held at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina March 19-21st. Cheryl says, “Being invited to be one of the Judges this year was an honor. It was fun getting to talk to teams and inspect robots. This was my first time Judging a robotics competition and it was an amazing experience that I look forward to doing again.” There were fifty-five teams from NC, MD, PA, SC, and VA, nine of which were rookies. As a Judge at the event, Cheryl was also able to meet teams that included young women and talk with them. She made it a goal to link these young ladies with professional women role models and was able to introduce several teams to Society of Women professionals as mentors. An example of the impact came from one of the high school students, “My name is Maggie I am the Vice President for the Elemental Dragons, team 3680. I would just like to thank you for coming to our pit and speaking with us. Since I am the only girl, what you said has inspired me to recruit more females for the team and encourage them to pursue a career in engineering. Our last President was a female and she was the one that taught me everything I know today. I hope you will come and visit our workshop sometime! It would be beneficial for everyone on the team to meet a professional in engineering.” This is another example of how our SWE volunteers go Above and Beyond. “ FIRST stands for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, for more go to  www.usfirst.org.

Engineers Are Epic!

February 21, 2015 Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Girl Scout Badge Event

For more than 12 years, Charlotte-Metrolina Section, Society of Women Engineers has conducted the “Engineers Are Epic!” event for Girl Scouts with the Hornets’ Nest Girl Scout Council in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Volunteers conduct five hands on sessions covering chemical, mechanical, structural, civil, and electrical engineering. It is great fun for the girls to get involved learning, designing, experimenting, building and testing projects. It was even more fun to share our enthusiasm for engineering and inspire the girls to pursue a career that can change the world.

  • For Chemical engineering, “Slime” was a wonderful hands on fun time with each girl taking home what she had created.
  • For mechanical engineering, individual “Puff Mobiles” were created with lots of excitement competing to see which wind powered design could travel the farthest. I am always amazed to see the same materials used for designs that I had not thought of before.
  • For Structural engineering, teams worked on “Suspension Bridges” and then stress tested them to determine best design, and identify improvements.
  • For Civil engineering, “Chocolate Asphalt” taught about composition of roads, and then after building their own roads, the girls were allowed to eat them. This was the most aromatic and best tasting session!
  • For Electrical engineering, each girl built her own “Burglar Alarm”, learning about stripping wires, connectors, conductors and circuits. This was one of the most difficult and most rewarding sessions.

The success of this event hinges on our high volunteer to Girl Scout ratio.  Women and men, engineers and non-engineer volunteer participation is the reason for the success of this longstanding program.

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