Something New for SWE

Last night at our general meeting, we tried something new. We had a Design Challenge! We broke everyone up into teams and gave them marshmallows, uncooked noodles, paper, and tape and told them to build the tallest tower they could in eighteen minutes. At the end, we measured from the table to the top of the large marshmallow to see who won.

There was definitely some serious competition between the teams! But it seemed like everyone had a great time. This was a great way to meet new people (the groups were randomly assigned) and to give everyone a fun activity to break up the craziness that usually comes around this time of the semester.

I hope all those who came had a good time! Check out some of the towers below.


Big Mac Outreach

One of our great outreach programs is called Big Mac. We bring this activity to local schools and teach them about efficiency and team work by having them build “Big Macs”.  This is a great way to get out into the community and introduce Engineering to young students. Check out some pictures below. Thanks to all the wonderful SWE volunteers, looks like the kids had a fantastic time!!

Big Mac2 Bigmac1

BigMac3 BigMac4

Reaching out to the Girl Scouts of the UP

This weekend Kate and Kate put on an amazing activity for the Girl Scouts across the UP (and even some from Wisconsin). The girls ranged in age from about 7-15. We had a great turnout, and the girls seemed to have an great time!

girlscouts3First, some SWE members joined the girls for lunch in Wad’s Cafeteria. Afterwards, they joined the rest of the SWE members for some awesome team-building, creativity, engineering-exploration activities. Their main event was a cardboard boat competition, to relate them to our yearly homecoming tradition of cardboard boat races. They were given material and had to work as a team to create a boat that would hold the most rocks before sinking.

Several SWE members also participated in a panel to give the girls an idea about what each of the engineering disciplines was about. This was a great time for the girls to ask some good questions! Our goal was to help the girls realize all the different reasons to become an engineer. And most importantly, that it’s not always about being awesome at math, making money etc.

girlscoutTheir last activity was something they could take home to remember the event. They each were given a carnation with a cup of water and food coloring. So, hopefully over the next few days they will be able to watch their carnations change colors.

A HUGE HUGE thank you to Kate and Kate for putting together such a large, and successful event. It went extremely well, and was perfectly on schedule. We are lucky to have such amazing Campus and Community chairs.

Another big thank you to all those volunteers who spent their Saturday making the day great for these girls. Some traveled far, and I think it was definitely well worth it for them.


WE 14

As many of you probably know, the National SWE Conference took place in LA last weekend. Fortunately, several girls from our section were able to attend!

Below, are experiences and pictures scattered throughout from just some of our SWE members who attended. Surprisingly, every response they sent me about what their favorite part of conference, was completely different! This just proves that conference has so much to offer and caters to so many different types of people. One overwhelming response I did get, however, was that everyone felt that they bonded with the girls in our section. This is fantastic! Conference is a time to get out and meet new people and share ideas, but it is also a time to become closer with those you have been working with. Having this connection between our members makes us an even stronger section!

So check out some of the photos and quotes below. We hope this encourages you to attend WE15 next year in Nashville, TN!


Inventions. Many of the seminars are people presenting fantastic, unique ideas. Katherine’s favorite presentation was “from Jessica O. Matthews. She is the inventor of Soccket–a soccer ball that “harnesses kinetic energy from play and converts it into electrical energy that can be used to power small appliances.” The great thing about these presentations is that they are very inspirational and motivational for other members to put forth ideas. –Katherine
Career Fair. Another great amazing resource at the conference is the HUGE career fair. This was Anna’s favorite part. “There were lots of companies that we don’t see at the Tech Career fair, and lots of positions are available on the west coast. It is also nice to know that those companies really appreciate the value of a SWE membership.”-Anna
Leadership. Our section president, Sam, was selected to attend the Collegiate Leadership Institute (CLI) Summit, which was held half of each of the days of WE14 for about 120 Collegiate members. There were keynote speakers and sessions focused on areas such as leadership, mentoring, effective communication, and presentation techniques. In a brief summary is was about branding and building what one wants to be known for as a leader. Miller explained the brands of an entry-, mid-, and senior-level position and asked each of to define our brands during the session. She lefts us with some food for thought about what are goals are 5, 10, and 15 years from know and what we want to define us in over those years. As I take the next step in my career, this is a topic that I am  currently pondering; where do I want to be in 20 years and what do I want to accomplish. Each of the session at the CLI were thought provoking, inspirational, and motivating and I could not have asked for a better way to spend my last WE Conference as a Collegiate member.”-Sam
Ideas for our Section. Another great aspect of the national conference is being able to share ideas between different collegiate section to see what’s working and what’s not for other people. Kate’s favorite part was “being able to attenconference7d various sessions and learn about potential activities for our chapter to use in Campus and Community outreach events. I also really enjoyed being able to speak with not only collegians, but also with professionals and hear about the outreach events they conduct in their communities.”-Kate
New Connections. This was Molli’s first time attending conference. “I can’t believe how much I learned in such a short period of time. The
conference6 session I think I enjoyed the most was a Mega session about The Art of Excellence. The speaker was very motivating. She encouraged you to stand out, spoke about different things that you can do to display excellence, and the different types that you can display. I also enjoyed the great networking experience with companies and SWE members from other sections alike. I made so many new friends and connections, and it opened up my eyes to new ideas that we can apply to Michigan Tech’s SWE section. It was such a great experience, and I encourage any SWE member to go!”- Molli


International Work. There are so many activities at WE14, you can’t possibly ever be bored. Elizabeth “attended 16 info sessions and the career fair! The best part for her was the info sessions. Some of the best for her were ones from international presenters as apart of how the conference was merged with I.C.W.E.S. (International conference of women engineers and scientists). She learned so much about women across the globe that were not only doing amazing things in their own country but was also inspired to help them after hearing about the roadblocks that they are having that would be very simple to solve with the correct resources and energy directed in their way.”–Elizabeth

Conference 2Tours of the Area. One awesome thing about the SWE conference is it’s not just about SWE and staying in the conference center. They encourage members to get out and explore the city by organizing different tours. Janelle and Brittany “went on a TMZ Tour all over LA where they got to see all of the local hot spots and where the stars like to hang out. TMZ did this tour JUST for WE14 attendees. It was a great way to see LA and get to know other attendees.”-Janelle