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 girls in February 2021. The event addressed SWE’s strategic advocacy goals , diversity and inclusion. The students surveyed indicated that they would recommend Envision to friends. Students participated in this free event held on four consecutive Saturdays.
Each weekend focused on different disciplines and/or engineering sciences such as: computer science and computer engineering; bio-engineering; chemistry and nanoengineering; mechanical and aerospace engineering; and structural and electrical engineering. 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 complemented the conference. Twenty-five SWE UCSD members volunteered on the day of the event.
A Parent Education Program (PEP) for families of participants 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 SWWENext brochures to raise awareness of the program and encourage participants to start their own school’s chapter.
Best practices takeaways from the SWE UCSD ENVISION virtual event included:
- The section was committed and committed to providing a virtual, interactive, solid and exciting learning experience. SWE members thought “outside the box” to retain key elements of exploring a college campus and the ability for high school students to interact with female engineering students through a virtual platform.
- Early, careful and thoughtful planning with a strong presence of SWE volunteers has been essential to the success of this program during the coronavirus pandemic.
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