During our last GSCM blog STEM week we talked about one organization that was working to get girls in middle school interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with an exciting event. This event, Invent it. Build it. which is hosted by The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is right around the corner and is happening in Baltimore!
“The event started as a partnership between the ExxonMobil Foundation, SWE and The Girl Scouts of the USA. We all put our heads together and decided that this event would be an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the girls. Since year one, we have expanded the event to include a Parent and Educator Program (PEP) as well as an EXPO that is open to the public as well as the participants,” said Randy Freedman, Outreach Manager for SWE.
According to Freedman, the event started with the idea “that having middle school girls do hands on engineering activities with female role models would have a significant impact on attitudes about engineering.” This hypothesis has proved true and Invent it. Build it. is now an annual event that takes place at the Society of Women Engineers Conference.
“Hosting this event at the Society of Women Engineers annual conference allows us to introduce these girls to engineers from around the world. It’s a unique time and an amazing opportunity for these kids. Over the last three years we have found a 30% increase in the number of girls interested in engineering as a career post event,” said Freedman.
Girls will work with SWE members from around the world on hands-on engineering activities, meet real engineers and learn what they do, make new friends, and explore the Invent It. Build It. EXPO during exclusive hours. Girls will also get an Invent It. Build It. t-shirt, bag and lots of other goodies and will be eligible to win raffle prizes and have lunch provided with the SWE engineers. Everyone will leave with an understanding of what engineers do and how they make a world of difference.
The adults will have a chance to network, participate in a panel discussion with SWE members, and outreach experts, and do a hands-on activity of their own.
In addition to the main event for girls in grades 6-8, Invent It. Build It. offers two parallel programs: Parent/Educator Program (PEP and the Invent It. Build It. EXPO.
PEP: Parents and educators will learn about engineering careers, scholarships, college admission and resources, network with SWE members as well as other parents and educators, participate in a panel discussion with select SWE members and outreach experts, complete a hands-on activity and learn best practices for doing engineering with girls and explore the Invent It. Build It. EXPO during exclusive hours. They will also get the opportunity to have lunch (provided) with the SWE engineers and will receive an Invent It. Build It. t-shirt
PLEASE NOTE: The parent/ educator program is separate from the main event for girls in grades 6-8. Parents/educators will only be permitted to work with the students during Exclusive EXPO hours, at other designated times or if a child has special needs.
EXPO: Learn about engineering clubs, camps, after-school programs, competitions from a wide variety of exhibitors. The Invent It. Build It. Expo has two tracks:
- Track 1: Exclusive EXPO Hours (9am – 10:30am) open only to those with a GIRLS IN GRADES 6-8 Ticket or a PEP Ticket. PLEASE NOTE: If you have one of these tickets you DO NOT need a GENERAL PUBLIC Ticket.
- Track 2: General Public EXPO Hours (11am – 3pm) open to girls, boys and adults of all ages. You must have a GENERAL PUBLIC Ticket to attend.
Registration for girls (grades 6-8), PEP and the general public attending the EXPO is required due to limited space.
Tickets for girls (grades 6-8) are $7 each (non-refundable). PEP participants and the general public may attend at no cost.
Lunch, an Invent It. Build It. t-shirt, prizes and other goodies are included for paid girls (grades 6-8), and PEP participants only.