FOR THE FUTURE: UNL women engineering students lead scouts' STEM session
The industry-wide initiative “Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day” got an early start in 2013 as UNL women engineering students helped a Lincoln Brownie troop earn their “Inventor Badges” on Feb. 12.
UNL’s Society of Women Engineers chapter became role models for the younger girls’ interests in science, technology, engineering and math. The SWE members guided the girls in finding new ways to solve problems by looking at what’s needed to address a challenge, generating possibilities and deciding on steps to develop ideas, then presenting their innovations.
Brownies’ inventions at the event included robot alarm clocks to help elementary school girls remember what to wear and bring each morning for different days’ activities. The Brownies also considered alternative delivery methods to get their lunch to school, if they forget it at home.
Katy Conroy, a junior majoring in Biological Systems Engineering, used her past experience as a counselor at YMCA Camp Kitaki, as well as her expertise in problem-solving from engineering studies, to lead the session. Her UNL SWE colleagues included Kristen Cope, Gaby Arellano, Rachel DeFusco, Victoria Fry and Vasudha Sharma.
Troop 20489 leader Danielle Erdley said, “The SWE students did a great job … the (Brownie) girls really enjoyed themselves” with the session.
The national Society of Women Engineers recently announced a partnership with Girl Scouts USA to connect girls with female role models and grow girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math careers.