Section Spotlight

Section Spotlight – Ohio State University: SWE Outreach & Education

Fall 2011 Education and Outreach

Ohio State SWE

Post Written by Allison Hamilton, Historian for 2011-2012

Ohio State SWE had a successful start to the school year through both new and returning outreach and education events for 2011, including WiE LEAP, the Big/Little Program, Ecoengineering, and SWE at CAR.

Our first outreach event welcomed incoming freshmen engineers on campus through the Women in Engineering Volleyball Tournament event.  Known as WiE LEAP (Women in Engineering Learning Community’s Early Arrival Program) the event was a joint effort with Society of Women Engineers, the Women in Engineering Program, and Phi Sigma Rho, the Ohio State engineering sorority, to move freshman women engineers into the dorms before regular move-in day.  This gave new students the opportunity to meet upperclassmen women engineers, ask questions about Ohio State engineering, and find out more information about the women engineering related organizations on campus.  Arcelor Mittal representatives also attended the event to discuss career opportunities as well as describe their experiences in the engineering programs at their respective university.

The newest outreach effort through Ohio State SWE, the Big/Little Program, was initiated this year to promote freshman involvement and retention in the organization.  The Big/Little program assigns upperclassmen engineers to underclassmen engineers in the same major.  This way, underclassmen meet more members at the beginning of the year and continue to attend events throughout the year.  Each “Big” is encouraged to mentor her “Little” and meet outside of SWE events to develop a relationship that can bring the organization together.  The program has been a success thus far, beginning with the Ice Cream Social Kickoff and continuing to expand underclassmen involvement.  OSU SWE highly recommends this new method for freshman involvement!

A returning outreach success, Eco Engineering (an event focused on promoting engineering and energy conservation) was scheduled for the fall rather than spring this year.  The event was coordinated with Columbus Girl Scout troops and held in the Ohio Union on campus.  The Union was recently built with “LEED” certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), implementing green energy, compostable food containers, and recycled items for use in the construction of the rooms, such as car seatbelts used to make chairs in meeting rooms.  The Union was constructed using 25% of recycled material and has an “Optimization of Energy Performance”, according to the LEED certificate.  SWE members formed groups with the Girl Scouts to go on a  “green” scavenger hunt by finding environmentally friendly aspects of the union1.  Later in the event, the SWE members talked to the girls in their small groups over lunch about engineering and environmentally friendly practices that can be done at home.

The last educational and outreach experience of Fall Quarter was the annual SWE at CAR event.  Members met at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Columbus, where they then learned about different areas of car maintenance.  Some CAR volunteers put the members in small groups, where they learned how to change tires, maintain fluid levels, replace break pads, and jumpstart a car.  A few SWE members even worked on their own vehicles.  The event was a great opportunity to learn about basic car knowledge and safety in a casual environment.  It also had the largest member attendance out of all the outreach and educational events!

1More information about the Ohio Union can be found at http://ohiounion.osu.edu/about_the_union/green/leed

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Arcelor Mittal representatives discussing engineering opportunities to freshmen.

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WiE LEAP Volleyball

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SWE “Big” and “Little” at a SWE tailgate party

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ECO Engineering activities before the tour of the Ohio Union

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Girl Scouts introduce themselves in their small groups

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Girl Scouts do an “O-H-I-O” in the Oval on campus

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Eco engineering group thinks about what makes the Ohio Union eco-friendly

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SWE members pose at the CAR event after changing tires

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Greasy Hands!

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Loosening lug nuts on the wheel for a break pad change

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