April 2017 Event Recap

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Our Design Your World STEM Conference for Girls held on April 1, 2017 at Southern Methodist University was a phenomenal success!. By the numbers, 137 6th-8th graders, 37 parents and educators, and 85 volunteers helped make it an exciting day to learn about what it means to be an engineer. THANK YOU to all of our generous corporage sponsors: Exxon Mobil, Abbott, Lennox International, USAA, Schneider Electric, Rockwell Collins, State Farm, and Bentley! We would also like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of our event coordinators: Samica Norman (Dallas SWE VP of Outreach and DYW Event Chair), Lynn Mortensen (Volunteer Coordinator), Daphne Hornbuckle and Becky Byford (Registration Chairs), Shelley Stracener (marketing and media), Abi Badiru (opening/closing ceremony), Amber Scheurer (parent/educator forum), Grace Harrell (student activities), Haley Hannenberg (student lead and logistics), and Liz Hainey (fundraising/finance and food order).

Photos and Video

You can find all of our event photos on our Facebook page album for this event! Check out the recap video below to get an idea of what the day was like.

Opening Session

Sukai Durosimi, Superintendent of East Fort Worth Montessori Academy Schools, started the day by speaking about the role educators/parents play in sparking interest in STEM topics for young girls. Students also met each other and women engineer volunteers while playing a BINGO ice breaker game.

Student Activities

We had a great variety of student activities to choose from this year! Each student experienced three of the below activities during their day:

  • Invention Challenge – United States Patent & Trademark Office
    Students learned about intellectual property, then came up with an invention and brand logo (trademark) and pitched their ideas to the group.
  • Recycle Runway – Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas
    Girls used “unconventional materials” like bubble wrap, fishing line, egg cartons, and duct tape to engineer a new textile, then create a piece of functional art.
  • Drone Technology – OnPoynt Aerial Solutions
    Students assembled an actual quad-copter piece-by-piece and learned about each component of the drone! Unfortunately we were too close to the airport to allow test flights, but hopefully this introduction to drone technology will inspire future at-home activities.
  • Solar Robot – Schneider Electric
    Girls assembled cars from kit parts that were powered by solar panels, then tested their designs outside.
  • Video Game Computer Programming – Microsoft Store
    Students used Microsoft tools to create their own computer game!
  • Alice Programming – Women of AT&T
    A DYW favorite, Alice Programming let students create their own 3D animated world using computer programming concepts.
  • Design A Mechanical Hand – Abbott Laboratories
    Students learned how to make prototype drawings, then used cardboard, sting, and drinking straws to create a mechanical hand like the prostheses engineers design for amputee patients.
  • Gravity Cars – State Farm
    Girls made and decorated a car from wood blocks, dowels, wheels, and other household items, then tested their designs powered by gravity down elevated tracks.

 

Parent & Educator Sessions

After the opening speaker, the parents and educators were met by Amber Scherer of Texas Instruments, who served as the session coordinator and moderator of the day’s panels. During the day, the attendees heard from several female engineers and educators, many of whom are also parents, to inspire and share ideas for encouraging young girls to choose STEM careers.

The first panel helped outline  examples of the many paths to a STEM career. Panelists Zaineb Ahmad (MedHost), Taylor Boswell (Teague Nall and Perkins, Inc.), Kim Concillado (NPI), and Kimberley Reid (Hitachi Consulting) all shared personal stories about their journey and the people that helped them along the way. Discussions included how high school class choices influenced their future career choices, how AP classes shaped their academic experience, and whether it’s worth it to spend money on week-long engineering camps. Parents expressed concern about how engineering might affect their students’ ability to participate in other hobbies, but the panelists assured them that they were able to enjoy extracurriculars like sports and sororities during their college experience.

After lunch, the session continued with more targeted discussion on how to prepare in High School for STEM careers. This session discussed many of the challenges parents face when trying to teach, coach, and encourage their girls to be confident and excel in school. In addition, panelists  Susanna Biancheri (AT&T), Rebekah Nap (Hitachi Consulting), and Adlena Jacobs (Mesquite ISD Engineering Design Educator) shared their thoughts on balancing extracurricular activities and hobbies with work or school.

The final session of the day consisted of Amy Glenn (Associate Director of Engineering Admissions, Purdue), and Kimberley Reid (Hitachi Consulting). Amy shared her perspective from within the “Office of Future Engineers” at Purdue – including How To Pay for College and The Secret Sauce for Being Admitted. Kimberley and Amy answered many questions about preparing for college, and different avenues to make college more affordable.

Resource Section 1 – Specific to this Presentation

Resource Section 2 – General Resources

Closing and Engineering Fashion Show

Cherrie Fisher, Environmental Manager at At&t, finished the day by speaking on the importance and impact of women in STEM professions for industry/world. In closing, our Engineering Fashion Show participants Amanda Posadas (IT Requirement Manager at AT&T), Cherrie Fisher, Abi Badiru (National Goal Alignment Pillar Lead at Nestle Waters NA), and Amber Scheurer (Process Engineer, Semiconductor Manufacturing at Texas Instruments) showed how what they wear to work helps them do their jobs and in some cases protects them or the products they work on!

Impact Highlights

One very thankful parent sent us a very kind note right after the event:

My daughter and her friend recently attended the STEM class at SMU on Saturday and I just wanted to take the time to let you know how much my daughter enjoyed the class. Your volunteers and Engineers have truly left a very big impression on her. She couldn’t say enough about your volunteers. I unfortunately was not able to attend with her and it sounds that the Engineers were friendly, funny and very engaging. My daughter is very bright and scores very high on testing however does not like math and struggles at times, however loves Science. My hope was that this class would help her make the connection with the science she loves and math. I think you have been successful. Her new favorite movie is Hidden figures. Please thank everyone involved.

We also received some great responses on our attendee and volunteer surveys.

Student Reflections: What did you like most?

I loved the fashion show!! The gaming was exciting.

I liked doing the race cars although I didn’t win I still loved it.

Working together in my group and listening 2 the presentations!

All the educators were so energizing and fun, really makes me love creating and designing things for my world.

Volunteer Reflections:

The event was extremely well-organized! I was really impressed. The girls in my group loved all of their activities.

The girls really seemed to enjoy the hands on project. They were mostly independent of us and I think getting to make something functional was really positive.

Volunteer and student sessions were well organized. Students and parents who attended were thrilled with the whole day. 

This is why we continue to put on this event twice a year since 2012! Our next Design Your World STEM Conference will be this fall. Stay tuned for more details on that event as we transition our Dallas SWE leadership team over the summer!

Important Event Day Information

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It’s almost here! We’re ready to welcome you to Southern Methodist University on April 1, 2017 for our spring Design Your World – STEM Conference for 6th-8th Grade Girls. But first, some housekeeping items for you all to make sure you join us in the right place and on time!

First, if you bought your tickets weeks ago and are now unable to join us, please let us know via email or through your Eventbrite email confirmation. Although we cannot offer refunds at this time (t-shirts and activity materials have already been purchased!) your cancellation information will allow us to welcome another student to attend in your place!

Heads up for this weekend: DNT WILL BE CLOSED so prepare a different route to SMU Saturday! 

Registration (starting at 9am), our opening / closing sessions, and all parent / educator sessions will be held in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center at 3140 Dyer St, Dallas, TX 75205. Student activity sessions will take place in the nearby Caruth, Embry, and Junkins Engineering Buildings. We have secured free parking in a lot just northeast of these buildings (see photo below). There will be signs directing you from the parking lot to check in. Please carpool if you can: this lot is open season on the weekends and we’d really like to have everyone park for free if possible! If we run out of parking in that lot, your backup plan will be to park in one of several paid parking garages on SMU campus: Moody and Binkley are the closest to our DYW buildings, to the southeast along Binkley Ave and Airline Rd. Click here to see a full map of campus.

Students will be given room assignments at registration and a Group Leader will help escort them from room to room. Everyone (students and adults) will eat lunch and enjoy our opening and closing sessions together. Check out the Event Day Schedule page for more details on the day’s sessions.

Sandwich box lunches from McAlister’s Deli will be provided for students, adults, and volunteers. If you have dietary restrictions other than selecting the vegetarian option during registration, please pack and bring your own sack lunch.

The great majority of volunteers for this event are engineers, so be sure you and your students interact with them throughout the day.  Be sure to like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for live updates during the event!  If you take photos, please share them with us on social media or email them to us at designyourworld.swe@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you next Saturday, April 1! Bring your smiles and enthusiasm for this exciting day of STEM learning and fun!

Attendee Registration Closes This Saturday, 3/25!

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The deadline for Student and Adult Attendees to register for our spring event at SMU is Saturday, March 25 at NOON! We still have quite a few spots left but they’re going fast so don’t delay!

Visit the Registration page for details and a link to the Eventbrite ticket sales. Please read about this fall’s event and make your selections carefully. Email us at designyourworld.swe@gmail.com if you have questions or to request financial assistance.

Volunteers must register and complete training by March 27.  Visit our Volunteer Info page to join!

Volunteer Registration is Open!

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VolunteerDallas SWE is a not-for-profit all-volunteer organization: we need YOUR help to make the Design Your World STEM Conference a success! Step up and inspire students to foster their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics!

We need volunteers to prepare materials before the day of the event, process registration, run activities with the students and adults, and help guide attendees to where they need to be! A big part of this event is interacting with students as engineers and as role models. If you want to help make Design Your World happen, click below to register as a volunteer for our next event, scheduled for April 1, 2017 at SMU! You must register and complete training by March 27 to attend this event as a volunteer in ANY capacity.
Eventbrite - Volunteer Registration - Design Your World - STEM Conference for Girls - Spring 2017

FREE lunch and a light breakfast is included for ALL volunteers!
You have three registration options:

  • Receive a free t-shirt from a previous year’s conference,
  • Help us offset costs by buying a new t-shirt for this event.
  • If you can’t be with us on April 1, be a “virtual volunteer” and submit a donation!

Thank you for your support of Design Your World: STEM Conference for Girls. We look forward to a great event this fall!