SEE WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO
JMU SWE’s second annual High School Engineering Outreach Day took place on November 7, 2015. The high school juniors and seniors began to trickle in around 8:30am that Saturday to check in and enjoy some delicious Strite's donuts. After everyone had arrived, Dr. McLeod, one of the engineering professors at JMU, gave an engaging and interactive presentation on her field of research: concrete. She inspired everyone with her love of civil engineering and structural materials.
The schedule for the day was structured similarly to the previous outreach event, with some fun icebreakers and a design challenge following breakfast. The girls were divided into groups and assigned work spaces in the design lab to complete the challenge. Their goal was to design and implement a structure that would prevent an egg from breaking when a softball was dropped directly onto it. For each round, they were provided with a separate set of materials with which to do so, ranging from pipe cleaners to tin foil to plastic spoons. Next on the agenda was a tour of some of the various labs available to undergraduate engineering students. In the circuits lab, the girls were guided through a circuits activity in which they used a breadboard to craft their own working circuits.
Around 12:30 everyone broke for lunch so that professors, SWE members, and attendees could relax, mingle, and talk about interests in engineering. After everyone had shared a few laughs and gotten to know each other better, we continued on with the day to explore some of the other labs JMU has to offer. Once all of the students had gotten to explore the lab facilities, even watching one of the 3D printers in action, everyone regrouped for the student panel, in which the high school girls were encouraged to ask questions of the collegiate SWE members.
The day closed with a few final remarks, and the girls were given an opportunity to provide feedback about their experience. From what we’ve heard, everyone had a blast, and we hope that this event will continue to grow each year! Participants were sent home with goodie bags filled with t-shirts, stickers, safety goggles, and notepads. Many thanks to our Northrop Grumman, Leidos, and Strite's Donuts for supporting JMU SWE. Also, we have much appreciation to our professors & SWE members who made this possible!
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