Society of Women Engineers continue to inspire

Society of Women Engineers continue to inspire

Group celebrates four years of programming in local schools

Monday, May 22, 2017

girls doing activity
Civil Engineering's Julia Camancho '17 works with girls in Dover Middle School during one of their after school STEM outreach programs (Photo by Alex Nguyen). 

Four years ago, UNH’s Society of Women Engineers began an outreach program to middle school girls in an effort to inspire young girls to pursue fields in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Since, young girls from multiple middle schools have been designing and building motors, prosthetic limbs, machines and earthquake resistant buildings.

“Seeing their curiosity and excitement for every activity reminds us why we chose to be engineers in the first place,” says Elizabeth Philpott, the SWE outreach coordinator. “The interest in our after school programs has really grown and we're happy to be able to share our passion for STEM with the girls.”

The organization began its outreach program in Dover Middle School with a six-week program and since has provided hands-on STEM programming to more than 100 girls in surrounding communities.

The original partnership with Dover was coordinated by Frances Meffen, the STEAM program director at Dover Middle School.

“The program gives our girls a chance to explore their own identity in science and engineering,” says Meffen. “It opens their eyes to career pathways that they had no idea about.”

Since its inception in Dover, SWE has also run programs in Durham and Rochester, and plans to continue its impact on surrounding communities into the future.

The program is offered free to the participating schools thanks to the volunteer efforts of the members and financial support for materials and travel expenses covered by funding from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Advisory Board and BAE Systems.

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