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.

Engineers Week 23-27 February 2015

Engineers solve all sorts of problems, and one of their most important tools is their own creativity.

Engineers make a world of difference. Most of the things that make our lives safer, more enjoyable, and more productive are products of engineering.

Engineering is essential to our health, happiness, and safety

No one can say what the future will bring, but Engineers will play a major role in shaping the world of tomorrow.

SWE & FIRST® Robotics Competition

This is a call out to our SWE-CM section members and friends,

Save the date: SWE-CM invites you to the NC Regional FIRST Robotics Competition March 20, and 21 2015 at the Dorton Arena, Raleigh, NC. There will be fifty-five teams from NC, MD, PA, SC, and VA, nine of which are rookies. These high school students will come together to compete with robots that must work together in teams of three.

As you may or may not be aware, SWE and FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technologywww.usfirst.org) have a national Strategic Alliance relationship.  Together, we are working on initiatives that will afford local Sections of both organizations opportunities to collaborate in pursuit of our joint missions.

For the first time, SWE, through a generous grant from the Motorola Foundation, provided 40 FIRST® team grants in the amount of $1,000 to high school students in the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) program.  National SWE and FIRST® jointly developed the grant criteria to acknowledge teams that are promoting gender diversity within their ranks and thereby engaging more girls as contributing members.  Additionally, priority was given to teams that identified a girl robot driver, which is a key role on the team.  Over 200 applications were received with 40 grants awarded to FRC® teams around the country. All team shirts and robots will proudly carry the SWE logo. Team T-Rex #4935 at Olympic Community of School in Southwest Charlotte was a recipient of a SWE grant award.

Our SWE-CM President, Cheryl Kinchen, volunteered to help with the North Carolina FIRST Robotics Kickoff at the Michael Waltrip Racing in Cornelius, NC on Saturday, January 3rd.  I will be at the Registration table. This was the perfect opportunity for me to meet the various teams including team T-Rex. On behalf of SWE, I would like to encourage all of you to meet the T-Rex team and attend a competition event.  I invite you to join me in meeting the amazing young people involved with FIRST at the NC Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in March 2015 at the Dorton Arena, Raleigh, NC. There will be fifty-five teams from NC, MD, PA, SC, and VA, nine of which are rookies. These high school students will come together in on March 20, and 21 for three days of competition with robots that can do something as yet to be unveiled (to be announced Saturday January 3rd at the Kick-Off to be held at Michael Waltrip Racing in Cornelius.)

SWE & FRC!
For the first time, SWE, through a generous grant from the Motorola Foundation, provided 40 FIRST® team grants in the amount of $1,000 to high school students in the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) program.  National SWE and FIRST® jointly developed the grant criteria to acknowledge teams that are promoting gender diversity within their ranks and thereby engaging more girls as contributing members.  Additionally, priority was given to teams that identified a girl robot driver, which is a key role on the team.  Over 200 applications were received with 40 grants awarded to FRC® teams around the country. All team shirts and robots will proudly carry the SWE logo.

NC FIRST Robotics!
Our SWE-CM President, Cheryl Kinchen, met Marie Hopper, Executive Director for NC FRC. Marie shared more information about FIRST and how SWE can partner with them to encourage young women in a career path to engineering. Marie extended an invitation to Cheryl to be one of three judges at the FIRST NC Regional Tournament March 20 and 21, 2015. Marie wanted a strong female representative to help inspire our next generation of engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs. Cheryl looks forward to meeting the amazing young people involved with FIRST and representing SWE at the NC Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in March 2015.

NC FRC Kickoff!
The North Carolina FIRST Robotics Kickoff was held at the Michael Waltrip Racing in Cornelius, NC on Saturday, January 3rd.  Our SWE-CM President, Cheryl Kinchen volunteered at the Registration table. FRC Kickoff marks the beginning of the design and build season. Teams have the opportunity to meet at “local” Kickoffs to compare notes, get ideas, make friends, find mentoring teams, learn the game, pick up the Kit of Parts, and get geared up for the exciting competition season. This was the perfect opportunity for her to meet the various teams including team T-Rex. Team T-Rex #4935 at Olympic Community of School in Southwest Charlotte was a recipient of a SWE grant award. To see the You Tube 2015 FRC Game Hint go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAETANAiLw0

For more information go to:
www.usfirst.org
www.ncfirstrobotics.org

VOLUNTEERS  Needed:  The impact you make on students by volunteering is immeasurable!  You help inspire our next generation of engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs.

·         Interested in being a NC FIRST Robotics volunteer? We are in need of women role models! Go to  http://www.usfirst.org/community/volunteers

·        The T-Rex coach is also looking to bring in some speakers and special advisors for the team throughout the build season. Please contact me if you are interested in being a speaker to our North Carolina’s FIRST Robotics team here in Charlotte.

Local Sections are encouraged to stay involved with the team in some capacity as doing so provides great role models for girls looking to pursue STEM education and careers.  Ways to do that might be to:

  • host a Section meeting at the competition event (FIRST® can help with free space at the venue);
  • invite the team and robot to attend a Section event and demo their robot;
  • engage in some joint outreach either with the Girl Scouts or other group that the Section is currently involved with;
  • offer to have a Section member speak at the team’s school providing much needed insight into women in tech careers; and
  • be open to other ideas for collaboration that could evolve from discussion—work with the team to see where your joint interests lie within your community.

Happy New Year, 2015 is going to be a fun year!

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