The University of Idaho College of Engineering will hold its annual Women in Engineering Day on Friday, Oct. 24. Women in Engineering Day is a one-day workshop for female high school students, grades 11-12, designed to introduce students to career options in engineering and computer science.
This year the college will host approximately 80 students from across the region and state. In all, over 32 high schools will be represented with students coming from as far south as Idaho Falls and as far west as Moses Lake, Washington.
“We are looking forward to hosting this year’s WIE participants”, said Joe Law, the college’s associate dean for undergraduates and director of the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium. “Women in Engineering Day gives us a great opportunity to show off the college and recruit future Vandal engineers.”
Participants will have a full-day of activities planned to expose them not only to the college and the University of Idaho but to a host of engineering career paths. Students will receive a tour of the college, spending time in labs and research facilities. They will have lunch at Bob’s dining hall for a college lunch experience and afterward be involved in a speed-networking activity that will allow them to interact with current engineering students, faculty and professionals in the engineering fields. Representatives from Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, TD&H Engineering and Rainier Patents will participate in this part of the day.
The real fun begins with a two-hour design challenge created by the UI student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). SWE is a national organization that empowers women to succeed, advance, and be recognized for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders. This year’s design activity has a Halloween theme and will challenge participants to build a bridge to save humanity from a zombie hoard.
“Our goal with the challenge was to encompass all of the different facets of engineering: balancing cost-effective design with functionality, encouraging teamwork and collaboration in every stage of the design process, and considering how real-world problems can impact the parameters of a project,” said Alyssa Ertel, vice president of SWE.
Students will be judged on their bridge work, their ability to work together, how effectively they deploy their resources and a final oral presentation. All design teams will have the opportunity to win prizes and scholarships toward future undergraduate degrees in engineering.