Engineers Day with SWE at Pike HS

SWE-CI collaborated with Pike High school to host 80+ Project Lead the Way 8th graders from neighboring Lincoln Middle School for a STEM day that included interactive activities to learn about the different engineering disciplines, panels, and a design challenge. In addition, an educator lunch discussion was facilitated and an end of day panel for the high school students was conducted. This was the first time we’d directly collaborated with a school to host a large-scale outreach event.

The goal of this first ever/new event was to be able to expand our reach to more underserved students as our section was realizing our traditional large-scale outreach event often  had selection bias in who was able and interested in attending an event. This is in line with SWE advocacy and DEI goals. Having built up a strong relationship with the STEM teacher at Pike High school from 2019-2022 through working with their SWE Next program, collaboration began on the event officially in 2022. 

Mid 2022 the teacher at Pike High school was able to get a partner middle school on board as well as confirm that we could host the event at Pike High school as an in school field trip. 8th graders were chosen because the middle school age range is often where STEM interest slows for female identifying students in particular. In addition, the event could  serve as a way to introduce the 8th graders to their future high school. This created a win-win situation for both SWE-CI and the schools.  At the start of the 2022-2023 school year, a date of 22Feb2023 was solidified and intentional/inclusive marketing material was created for both the 8th graders as well as the high  schoolers for the panel. This included using “Instagram style” and catchy promotional material as well as making all promotional material in Spanish as well. Since the schools had the existing relationships with the students, once the materials were made the teachers at Pike and Lincoln took the reins in marketing to students and SWE-CI focus turned to activity planning and volunteer recruitment. Using Humanitix and spreading word via work calendars of companies with strong SWE-CI membership we were able to get 30+ volunteers and 3 activity/pre-planning volunteers, many of whom had not been involved with SWE-CI before. In addition, we used our growing community                        college connections (specifically IvyTech) to recruit diverse volunteers and panelists and showcase non traditional career paths. Throughout this, pre-planning meetings with both the activity team and the teacher were held to iterate and get feedback on the activities. The week before the event a volunteer training was held. 

Impact of the Event:

  • 8th graders:  Boys 43 Girls 38 Total Students 81                 
  • High school: Boys 25 Girls 40 Total Students 65                 
  • Teachers: 6 high school science teachers