Earlier this year SWE implemented a system to capture and quantify all volunteer hours spent on outreach efforts. SWEeter Futures is a unique online portal that tracks our individual and collective impact on the future of engineering. SWEeter Futures was started in Region B by Kerrie Greenfelder to demonstrate the impact of SWE’s outreach. This program was extremely successful and has prompted this SWE-wide adoption.
In addition to capturing the time spent by our volunteers on outreach, utilization of SWEeter Futures in October 2012 resulted in SWE Charlotte-Metrolina winning 50 Agilent Kits from SWE HQ valued at over $1,000. Looking to win ten Agilent Kits, SWE Charlotte-Metrolina first utilized SWEeter Futures for volunteer registration for our October 2012 Girl Scout badge event. 21 volunteers signed up through the system and 137 hours of volunteer time was recorded. Imagine our surprise when SWE HQ announced we had won 50 of these valuable kits! We were stunned as well to finally “do the math” on our Girl Scout event and document the actual number of volunteer hours that go into making this event one of our most successful.
The Agilent After School kits won by SWE-CM are hands-on engineering and science experiments targeting children in the 9 – 14 year age group. The kits are packaged as a “program-in-a-box,” providing everything needed to demonstrate specific science and engineering concepts. One kit provides materials for 4 students. SWE Charlotte-Metrolina selected 10 each of the following five kits for our prize – Solar Energy, Catapult, Steady Hand Game, Kalimba (Thumb Piano), and Electronic Matching Game. These kits will be used for upcoming outreach activities.
Every hour spent planning or doing outreach will help demonstrate the impact of SWE’s outreach, help improve the work we do, share best practices and raise money. Through this reporting, SWE will be able to publicly recognize our outstanding contributors in outreach at the individual and section levels with honors, awards and even grants.