CLUB SPOTLIGHT

SWE Outreach rewarding, educational

Earlier this semester, I attended my first Society of Women Engineers’ Outreach Committee. As a member of SWE, I wanted to check out what this committee was about.

The main goal of the club is to reach out to the local youth, and share our passion for science and engineering with them. They are responsible for volunteering and running events that involve educational, hands-on experiments. Even though I am a new member, I am definitely enjoying my experience so far on the Outreach Committee.

This past Saturday, SWE Outreach held Girlbusters Day, an event in collaboration with Girl Scouts. As you may be able to tell from the name of the event, it was based on the popular TV show Mythbusters. Just like in the show, the focus of this event was to see if common myths could be busted. The girls from Girl Scouts were given proper instructions and materials to conduct small experiments among their peers; these results were then recorded to conclude if the myth was busted or not.

Since the event was run mainly by SWE Outreach, I had the opportunity to help present the experiments to the girls. One particular myth I enjoyed busting was “Can you cook an egg on the sidewalk?” To demonstrate this, committee members had to come up with an approach to mimic a sidewalk, since we couldn’t use an actual sidewalk. The final decision was to use a slab of concrete and heat it to the approximate temperature of a typical hot summer day. An egg was then cracked on this surface to see if it would cook or not. After a few minutes of waiting, the Girl Scouts came to the consensus that the egg was not cooking. While this was such a trivial experiment, I would say that everyone had fun planning it as well as following through with it.

Other myths included were: “Can you predict the outcome of a coin flip?” and, “Do soda, coffee, or tea stain your teeth?” Throughout the entirety of this event, the most important part was to involve the young scientists and show them that science is part of our everyday lives.

Altogether, Girlbusters Day was a fun, educational experience. I enjoyed my time with all the girls, getting to know them and their interests in science, and helping run the experiments. Because members of SWE Outreach come from different majors and science backgrounds, I was happy to see how we were able to bring together our ideas to make this event enjoyable for everyone. And although this was only my second event with SWE Outreach, I am definitely going to continue being a member of this committee.

This is a great club to meet other women in engineering and science, as well as get to know the local Troy and Albany communities better. Additionally, all the members are very inviting and would love to see other female students involved in our events.

If you are interested in volunteering or planning events with the local youth, this might be the place for you. Feel free to stop by at one of our weekly meetings on Thursday nights at 7 pm in room 3502 in the Union!