Stories about...Society of Women Engineers

An Engineering Exploration participant exhibits the tower they built as part of the engineering challenge related to Civil Engineering.SWE’s Engineering Exploration Outreach Lives Up to Its Name

March 2, 2021

“What is engineering?” This is one question SWE Illinois sought to answer during its virtual Engineering Exploration outreach on Saturday, February 20, 2021. Their simple explanation was: “It’s the application of science and math to solve problems.” Their bit-more-in-depth exploration of this question included introducing the 77 middle school participants to several engineering disciplines and what engineers in these fields do. Sponsored by the Illinois chapter of Society of Women Engineers (SWE), with the assistance of other engineering students, the outreach taught the younger students briefly about a few disciplines; led them in some related hands-on activities; and showed them that engineers can come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and ethnicities.

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SWE’s Engineering Exploration Shows Middle School Girls: Women Can Be Engineers!

March 5, 2020

The name of SWE’s new Engineering Exploration outreach pretty much sums up the event. The 40 or so mostly middle school girls who showed up for the February 22nd all-day event had a chance to explore the different engineering disciplines available; were exposed to women in engineering—from current students to practicing engineers; and discovered, while successfully completing the various hands-on activities, that they too could do engineering.

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At Dads 4 Daughters, Father-Daughter Duos Have Fun with STEM

December 3, 2019

It was a chance for Daddy to take his little girl on a date that was both fun and educational. So on Saturday, November 16, the Illinois chapter of SWE (the Society of Women in Engineering) hosted Dads 4 Daughters, where 31 father figures (mostly dads, plus a grandfather or two) accompanied 31 girls, ages 5–7 (Kindergarten to second grade) to a great day bonding over STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

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SWE’s 2019 IGED Introduces Illinois Girls to Engineering

November 15, 2019

At SWE’s 2019 Introduce-a Girl-to-Engineering Day (IGED) on October 26th, Illinois engineering students who participated in the all-day event did just what its name implies. They acquainted around 110 high school girls (the most to ever participate in the event), with what different engineering disciplines are like, what careers are available in the different fields, and what studying engineering at Illinois might be like. Sponsored by SWE Illinois (the Society for Women Engineers) on campus, the event did more than just introduce the girls to the different engineering disciplines; it also gave them a chance to interact with Illinois engineering students. Meanwhile, their parents (around 100 or so) hung around to find out about the admissions process, talk to current upperclassmen, and get a feel for what studying at Illinois might be like for their daughters.

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A participant tests the battery she and her teammates made.Middle School Girls Discover Engineering Is Fun During SWE’s Round Robin

March 6, 2019

Nine 5th through 7th grade girls showed up on Saturday, February 23rd, for Engineering Round Robin, hosted by the Illinois chapter of Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The idea was to pique the girls’ interest in engineering by exposing them to some of the different engineering disciplines, plus to serve as role models for them to show them that girls can be engineers too.

When deciding on which disciplines they would expose the girls to, the organizers went with some of the most common fields of engineering, such as electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering. However, Rose Carroll, the Round Robin coordinator who’s a freshman in agricultural and biological engineering, reports that in previous years, the event had done a lot of civil engineering activities, like bridge building, and she had wanted to change that up a bit. “I wanted to do something different,” she reports, “especially with me being in agricultural and biological engineering. There's not many activities that are incorporated into large-scale events like this.”

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SWE’s Introduce-a-Girl-to-Engineering Day Encourages High School Girls to Embrace Stranger Things—Such as a Career in Engineering

October 30, 2018

Embracing the Stranger Things!—this was the theme (based on the popular Netflix TV series: Stranger Things!) for the fall 2018 Introduce-a-Girl-to-Engineering Day. So, hoping to do just that, around 80 Illinois 9th–12th grade high school girls, mostly from the Chicago area, showed up at Loomis Lab on Saturday, October 27, 2018, with their parents in tow. Some of the stranger things the girls hoped to explore were finding out what engineering is like, what different engineering disciplines do, and whether engineering might be the career for them. So the all-day event, sponsored by the Illinois chapter of SWE (Society for Women Engineers), exposed the girls to hands-on activities in various engineering disciplines, gave them a chance to pick the brains of current engineering students as to what being a student at Illinois is like, and during the Design Challenge, discovered what working with a team of engineers might be like.

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Illinois’ SWE Helps Shape Well-Rounded Female Engineers Via a Plethora of Opportunities

October 2, 2018

According to Abby Pakeltis, president of the Illinois Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, SWE is “a one-stop shop in a student organization.” Through SWE, its membership of more than 200 female undergraduate engineering students can grow professionally, including networking with companies and their representatives; technically, through Team Tech; personally, and socially. “We have a lot of committees that can satisfy everything you're looking for,” she continues. For instance, helping SWE members grow and get connected professionally is SWE’s Professional Liaison Committee, led by its director, Jenny Marten. This committee’s job is to connect with companies in order to bring some of their representatives to campus for workshops, talks, and other events which help SWE members both grow professionally and network with the companies.

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Local Dads and Their Daughters Have an Incredible Time Doing Science at DADDS

April 13, 2018

On a fun, daddy-daughter date that was not just relational, but also educational, around 30 or so local fathers and their daughters showed up the Mechanical Engineering Lab on Saturday, April 7th, for SWE’s DADDS (Dads and Daughters Do Science) event. The event was geared towards having 1st–3rd grade girls bond with their dads while exploring science and engineering via fun, hands-on activities and challenges. The long-term goal was to pique the young girls’ interest in science and to encourage them that—like the Incredibles (the theme of the event) and supported by their real-life heroes, their dads—they too could someday do amazing feats in science and engineering.

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At Introduce-a-Girl-to-Engineering Day, High School Girls Discover What Engineering Is, That They Can Do It

March 1, 2018

On Saturday February 17th, 2018, around 70 high school girls and their families converged on Illinois’ Loomis Laboratory for Introduce-A-Girl-to-Engineering Day (IGED), sponsored by SWE (Society for Women Engineers). And on hand to introduce these girls to their field and their respective majors were dozens of engineering students, members of the different engineering RSOs (Registered Student Organizations) who helped with the event. However, SWE not only offered the girls a chance to learn about the different engineering disciplines they could specialize in, plenty of female role models were on hand to inspire and boost the confidence of these budding engineers. “Engineering Everywhere, Engineering Everyday” was the theme for this year’s IGED, which is always the largest outreach event that SWE sponsors all year.

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Moana-Themed Mommy, Me, and SWE Makes a Splash With Young Girls (and Their Moms), as They Learn About Engineering

November 14, 2017

From building a boat (then watching it sink), to building a house (then watching as it was demolished during a hurricane)—all scenarios Moana might have experienced—fourteen 4th–6th grade girls gathered at the John Deere Pavilion on Saturday, November 4, to participate in Mommy, Me, and SWE and learn a bit about engineering. While the main goal for this engineering outreach event hosted by Illinois’ chapter of Society of Women Engineers (SWE) was to educate girls about different engineering disciplines, they didn’t do it all alone. In a special twist, the girls’ moms were in attendance, too, participating in the activities right alongside the girls! The SWE members who participated hoped that this event might help the girls become interested in engineering, and that their mothers could learn more about it as well, in order to encourage them towards it.

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During SWE’s Round Robin, Girls of All Ages Become More Well-Rounded in Engineering's Disciplines

November 2, 2017

On Saturday, October 7th, about 50 girls from all over the state of Illinois converged on Loomis Lab for Engineering Round Robin. Hosted by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the outreach program, with its appropos Robin (and Batman) theme, was designed to expose young women to different engineering disciplines. According to Katherine Kiang, a SWE Outreach Co-coordinator, they also hoped to "provide them some perspective on what it’s like to do engineering as a career.” Designed for girls in grades 6 through 9, although high school students of any age were allowed to attend, the program was primarily targeting younger girls in order to get them exposed and interested at an early age.

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Girls Discover that Engineering Is Sweet at Introduce-A-Girl-to-Engineering Day

March 7, 2017

About one hundred girls (and their parents) from around the state (and even a couple from out of state), showed up at the 2017 edition of SWE’s Introduce-a-Girl-to-Engineering Day (IGED). The largest SWE (Society of Women Engineers) outreach event of the year, it was held at Illinois on Saturday, February 22nd. Not only did the participants learn a bit about the different engineering disciplines, they learned that like many of the female role models at the event, they too could do engineering and make a difference in other peoples’ lives.

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Mommy, Me, & SWE: Middle School Girls Find Out About Engineering While Finding Dory

November 13, 2016

Engineering is not only fun, but can be used to help solve practical, real-world problems—even not-so-real problems— like finding Dory. This is the message Mommy, Me, and SWE sought to convey on Saturday, November 12th, to the 30 local middle school girls (and their moms) who participated. During the all-day event, mother-daughter teams were exposed to a number of the different engineering disciplines via fun and engaging hands-on activities that brought engineering down to a level the kids (and even the moms) could understand.
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SWE's Rockin' Engineering Round Robin Tells Girls: "You Can Be An Engineer and Still Be Yourself!"

October 17, 2016

SWE’s (Society of Women Engineers) Engineering Round Robin, an outreach designed to expose girls to the different engineering disciplines, isn’t just for high school girls any more. Of the 45 girls who converged on Illinois’ Siebold Center on Saturday, October 8th, 20 were middle school students. Also different from past years was the interdisciplinary emphasis. Not only cutting across engineering disciplines, the program had a hint of STEAM (STEM + Art = STEAM). The goal? To show girls that they could become engineers and still be themselves.
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Pakeltis Sisters Hope to Increase the Number of Women—Change the World Through Engineering

October 7, 2016

While the old Irving Berlin song, “Sisters, Sisters,” may not exactly be the theme song of the two Pakeltis sisters, a couple of lines fit Grace and Abby to a T. One is the last phrase of: "Two different faces, But in tight places, We think and we act as one." For instance, they’re both studying Engineering at Illinois. Grace, the oldest, is a senior in Materials Science Engineering (MatSE), while sophomore Abby is in Mechanical Science & Engineering (MechSE).
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SWE's "Save the World With Engineering" Outreach Targets Middle School Girls

May 16, 2016

Up to date on current research about STEM outreach, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at Illinois is aware that middle school is the crucial age to expose youngsters to STEM, and also that today’s young people want careers in which they can make a difference. So on April 16th, 2016, SWE held it’s first-ever SWE (Save the World with Engineering) event, an outreach that both targeted middle school girls and showed them that through careers in engineering, they can change the world.

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Introduce-a-Girl-to-Engineering Day Tells Girls: "You Can Be an Engineer, Change the World!”

March 10, 2016

On Saturday, February 20th, SWE’s Introduce-a-Girl-to-Engineering Day did just that. Around 150 high school girls (and their parents) who showed up at Illinois’ Loomis Lab for the day-long outreach were introduced to Engineering at Illinois by female engineering students who were excited to get to know the girls and to convey to them this dual message:
1) that they too could become engineers, and
2) that a career in engineering would give them the chance to make a difference. And of course, the Illinois students who helped out hoped to not only woo some of these potential recruits into engineering, but maybe even into their own particular fields.

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Mommy, Me and SWE Strives to Convince Girls That They Can Be Engineers Too

November 13, 2015

Twenty-six 4th–6th grade girls and their mothers (plus one dad) visited campus this past Saturday (November 7th, 2015) as guests of SWE (the Society of Women Engineers) to participate in the group's fall outreach event, Mommy, Me and SWE. The goal of the dozens of female engineering students who participated in the event was to pique the girls' interest in engineering and show them that, like their "big sisters," they too have what it takes to become engineers.

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little studentLeal Kindergarteners Are “Engineers-in-Training” Thanks to SWE’s FKO Outreach

October 13, 2015

LaDonna Helm, kindergarten teacher at Leal School in Urbana, believes that of the 19 students in her kindergarten class…19 are potential engineers. So she brings in experts to help equip them: female engineering students from the University of Illinois who teach her students about engineering via the SWE (Society of Women Engineers) “For Kids Only” (FKO) program.

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Lara Flasch & Ashley MaySWE Outreach Seeks to Interest Kids in Engineering and Say, “You Can Do It Too!”

October 12, 2015

Not all kids have parents who will tell them, ‘Yes, you can do it...You’re smart enough to change the world!’ I want SWE outreach to be an organization that can do that for kids.” — Ashley May

The main goal of Lara Flasch & Ashley May, the 2015–2016 Outreach Co-Directors for the Illinois chapter of SWE (the Society of Women Engineers), is to help youngsters believe that they, too, can become engineers.

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SWE OfficersSWE: A Support System for Illinois' Female Engineering Students

September 23, 2014

While the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a national organization, for many of the 400 female engineering students at Illinois who are members, it's a whole lot more than just a professional organization. It's a support system that began when they were still in high school, deciding which school to attend. And once they arrived on campus, SWE became a ready-made family and even helped shape who they became during their time at Illinois. Finally, SWE helps its members in their quest for careers once they leave here. And in between? SWE members say it makes Engineering at Illinois a lot more fun.>
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A middle school student watches to see if the geyser he made erupts. (It did!)UMS STEM Night Exhibitors Hope Their Enthusiasm for STEM Is Contagious

April 25, 2014

Excited about sharing their passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) with Urbana Middle School students and their families, some area folks devoted a Thursday evening to participate in the school's fourth STEM Night on April 10, 2014. For example, members of the Fouke Research Group, the Society of Women Engineers, and Materials Advantage brought fun STEM hands-on activities with which to engage visitors.
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Nobel Project’s End-of-Year Zoom Bash Recaps Learning

February 1, 2022
The STEM Illinois Nobel Project held a special, end-of-the-year Zoom event celebrating its participating students’ achievements.
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It’s not magic, it’s physics

January 26, 2022
In Franklin STEAM Academy, Musical Magnetism program makes STEM fun, approachable.
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Program prepares STEM educators to teach all students

November 30, 2021
This summer, a group of educators gathered to learn about engaging STEM activities they can do with their students.
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Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program

November 11, 2021
Undergrads get a taste of research through I-MRSEC’s REU program.
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Goldstein’s Renaissance Engineering Summer Camp

November 1, 2021
Goldstein’s Renaissance Engineering Summer Camp Incorporates Art, Design, Mechatronics, and Mentoring
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TechTogether Chicago to Redefine the Hacker Stereotype

July 10, 2021
New workshops that can help inspire students to pursue careers in technology..
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Aerospace Engineering Launches Virtual Summer Camps to Pique Students’ Interest in Aero.

July 2, 2021
Design an aircraft then watch it soar after launching it with a huge rubber band. Build a Mars lander to safely transport a real egg, then test the contraption by dropping it from a second story window.
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Undergrads Experience Materials Science Research Courtesy of the I-MRSEC REU

June 16, 2021
Ten undergraduate students are spending the summer of 2021 discovering what research is like.
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MatSE Afterschool Academy

MatSE Afterschool Academy

June 14, 2021
MatSE Afterschool Academy to Introduce Students to Materials Science and Beyond.
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Taylor Tucker Embraces Multidisciplinary Interest

Taylor Tucker Embraces Multidisciplinary Interest

June 14, 2021
Taylor Tucker Embraces Multidisciplinary Interest While Researching Task Collaboration.
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Exposes Franklin Middle Schoolers to Science, CS

What Studying Engineering at Illinois is Like?

May 25, 2021
NSBE’s Michaela Horn Exposes Franklin Middle Schoolers to Science, CS, and What Studying Engineering at Illinois is Like.
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Jenny Saves a Convertible.

Children’s-Book-Writing Duo/

May 19, 2021
Convertibles and Thunderstorms—Children’s-Book-Writing Duo on Their Way Thanks to Illinois Training and Encouragement from Mentors.
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Improve Learning in Engineering

Improve Learning in Engineering

May 17, 2021
Liebenberg Espouses Mini-Projects to Engage Students Emotionally, Improve Learning in Engineering.
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Joshua Whitely makes an adjustment to the 3D Bioprinter during the demo.

BIOE435 Capstone Projects

May 12, 2021
BIOE435 Capstone Projects - BIOE Seniors Use Knowledge/Skills to Problem Solve.
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Elani and Gonzalo shine a UV light on a rose that has absorbed a solution that has made it fluorescent.

Illinois Scientists Shine a (UV) Light on Fluorescence

May 7, 2021
What is fluorescence? What causes it?
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Joshua Whitely makes an adjustment to the 3D Bioprinter during the demo.

HackIllinois 2021 “Rekindled Connections” With The Tech Community

May 5, 2021
Annual student hackathon HackIllinois with the aim of developing projects on current problems facing society.
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A Shane Mayer-Gawlik image of the Bridger Aurora, part of his Night Skies photography collection exhibited at the Art-Science Festival.

The Art-Science Festival

April 26, 2021
Illinois Art-Science Festival: Illuminating the Universe...from the Quantum World to the Cosmos.
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Joshua Whitely makes an adjustment to the 3D Bioprinter during the demo.

Illinois Engineering Seniors Prepared to Change the World

April 22, 2021
Ready. Set. Go! Illinois Engineering Seniors Prepared to Change the World.
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HML 2021 Virtual Health

HML 2021 Virtual Health

April 19, 2021
Make-a-Thon Gives Citizen Scientists a Shot at Making Their Health-Related Innovations a Reality.
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I-MRSEC’s Music Video

I-MRSEC’s Music Video

April 7, 2021
I-MRSEC’s Music Video for EOH ’21 Plugs Graphene, 2D Materials
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Health Make-a-Thon Orientation

HML 2021 Health Orientation

March 30, 2021
HML 2021 Health Make-a-Thon Orientation Prepares Finalists for Competition.
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Andrea Perry shows Franklin students how to take apart the magnetic drawing board they received in their kit

Musical Magnetism

March 25, 2021
Musical Magnetism: Encouraging Franklin Middle Schoolers to Express Science Via the Arts.
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Carmen Paquette street performing.

Love of Science

March 9, 2021
Paquette Conveys Her Love of Science, Dance to Franklin STEAM Students Via Musical Magnetism.
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An Engineering Exploration participant exhibits the tower they built as part of the engineering challenge related to Civil Engineering

Engineering Exploration

March 2, 2021
SWE’s Engineering Exploration Outreach Lives Up to Its Name.

ChiS&E’s Family STEM Day

ChiS&E’s Family STEM Day

February 23, 2021
Helps Chicago Youngsters Progress Along the STEM Pipeline Toward Engineering.

Kathny Walsh

Kathy Walsh

February 17, 2021
On Her First Foray into STEAM, Kathy Walsh Acquaints Franklin Students with Microscopy, Haiku.

ChiS&E student

ChiS&E CPS Students

January 19, 2021
Illinois Undergrads Encourage ChiS&E CPS Students Toward Possible Careers in Engineering.

I-MRSEC’s Music Video

CISTEME365 Provides Year-Round PD/Community

January 4, 2021
to Illinois Teachers in Support of Informal STEM Education Efforts to Underserved Students.