November 2015 Event Recap



Thank you for being a participant in our Fall 2015 Design Your World STEM Conference for Girls: you were one of the 150 4th, 5th or 6th graders, 80 parent educators or 80 volunteers who had an exciting time November 14, 2015 at Caruth Hall, Southern Methodist University!  If you want to recapture the moments and get pictures you can visit our Facebook photo album here.

Design Your World is the signature outreach program of Dallas SWE. Our sponsors that enabled us to run this all volunteer event were Exxon Mobil (Platinum), State Farm and Abbott (Gold) and Capital One (Silver). We thank them for their support of increasing diversity and excitement for technology and engineering careers.

Twice a year we run an event working with a collegiate SWE section. This year the Dallas SWE VP for Outreach, Nandika D’Souza co-chaired the event with Morgan Reiner of SMU SWE. Students, professionals and a number of area teachers came together to enable 4-6th graders and parents/educators to come away inspired.

We ran:

  • An exploration of materials/polymer/chemical engineering through the polymer jewelry exercise for 150 girls. The program was led by Adanma Akoma and Andres Garcia of the UNT SAMPE and Society of Plastics Engineers Sections. Working engineers from these societies came in to share their work life experiences. The activity and others are posted at developed for North Texas Gold Award Project by Alicia D’Souza
  • A new activity developed by Kim Knight for 2012 Design Your World was re-worked by Jordan Kayse and Shelley Stracener: a flashing LED lighted headband for 150 girls. There were some challenges completing this activity both due to the sewing comfort of the children and the time allowed for the activity. If your student was unable to successfully complete the activity on Saturday, here are some resources you can use to help her finish up at home!
  • Abbott Women Engineers stepped up to develop a new activity-robotic arm that 50 girls built. The mentoring and extraordinary one on one engagement with working engineers was inspiring to all of us. The activity was led by Neha Dobhal, Dallas SWE and Abbott enginer.
  • Mayaria Johnson, past-President of UNT SWE and now employee of Pepsico returned as a professional leader of the Computer Science activity which was based on Alice Programming. State Farm and USAA engineers came in to provide inspirational leadership both for the execution as well as to mentor 50 children.
  • Dallas SWE VP for Membership, Zaineb Ahmad and past President Barbara Vilbig evoked squeals of excitement in the car building and racing activity for 50 children.
  • Amber Schurer, Texas Instruments and Dallas SWE member ran the parent/educator panels. Parent/educators can benefit from more opportunities to inspire their children. New this year was the opportunity for parents and educators to experience an activity with children Terriekka Cardenas assembled a valuable list for parents to stay engaged with kids:

In summary, Dallas SWE benefitted from new volunteers stepping in to learn registration and logistical management of the DYW event and an extraordinary group of students from SMU who stepped up to the challenge of a new activity, finding rooms, making t’shirts.

If there is an inspiring thought it is this: nearly all the volunteers in Design Your World expend 60 hour work weeks because we are all engaged in challenging and growth oriented careers. In an all volunteer program, this event continued the tradition of people taking extra time out of their busy schedules to serve YOU! If there is a way for us to exemplify the goals of Aspire, Advance and Achieve it is to experience Design Your World as an attendee, a volunteer or a parent educator.

Thanks for the shared experience November 14th. Our next event will be April 2nd at Discovery Park, University of North Texas, Denton for 6-12th graders. Stay tuned to our website or social media for details, or opt in to receive our email communications straight to your inbox!

Warm regards,

Kitty Elshot, Morgan Reiner, Nandika D’Souza, Shelley Stracener, Lynn Mortensen and Elizabeth Hainey

Design Your World November 14, 2015 Leadership Team

P.S. Check out this article about the event from SMU News!

P.P.S. Enjoy this video from our day together!


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