The University of California, San Diego collegiate section hosted a virtual conference during the COVID-19 pandemic with hands-on activities for approximately 75 high school women in February 2021. The event addressed SWE’s strategic goals of advocacy, and diversity and inclusion. Students surveyed cited that they would recommend Envision to friends. Students participated in this free event held over four consecutive Saturdays.
Each weekend focused on different engineering disciplines and/or science such as: computer science and computer engineering; bioengineering; chemical and nanoengineering; mechanical and aerospace engineering; and structural and electrical engineering. The sessions included hands-on activities, virtual lab tours, and panel discussions. Interaction with current SWE engineering students and other engineering faculty and professionals complemented and rounded out the conference. Twenty-five SWE UCSD members volunteered the day of the event.
A Parent Education Program (PEP) for attendee families highlighted ways to support and encourage their child’s interest in engineering and keep them engaged. The conference also included a presentation and distribution of SWENext brochures to raise awareness of the program and encourage attendees to initiate their own school’s section.
Best practice take-aways from the SWE UCSD ENVISION virtual event included:
- The section was resolute and committed to provide a robust and exciting virtual hands-on, interactive learning experience. The SWE members thought “outside the box” to retain key components of exploring a college campus and the ability for the high school students to interact with female engineering students through a virtual platform.
- Early, careful and thoughtful planning with a strong SWE volunteer presence was critical to the success of this program during the coronavirus pandemic.
Are you interested in learning more about receiving PDG funding? Or perhaps you are ready to request funding? Learn more on the PDG website and don’t forget to submit your PDG application by February 15th, 2022.