Southern Illinois University System

24/05/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 25/05/2024 22:08

A Look Back: SIUE Hosts Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day presented by Ameren Illinois

"I thought it was really inspiring to see so many women creating such incredible things," said one of the many attendees of the 12th annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. "It is great that SIUE is promoting girls in engineering."

On February 14, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville continued to do its part to put young girls on the path to a career in engineering by hosting an event designed for girls, grades 5-12.

"We hosted more than 200 female students from middle - high school age groups. These students participated in hands-on activities that represented all engineering disciplines within the School of Engineering," said Amardeep Kaur, SWE chapter faculty advisor.

"This was the largest participation that we have seen over the last few years and to accommodate the large participation, we held a full-day event, unlike last year when we did a half-day event," said Kaur. "We are grateful to all our sponsors who made the event possible. Because of the generous sponsorships we received, the participants were able to attend for free. Our SWE volunteers worked hard to put together fun activities and to ensure a safe and successful event."

The event kicked off with registration around 8:30-9:00 a.m. followed by opening remarks and some words from keynote speaker Jackie Becker, vice president of transmission engineering and construction for Ameren.

"I had the distinct pleasure of providing a keynote address to nearly 200 girls at Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day put on by the SIUE Society of Women Engineers and sponsored by Ameren Illinois," said Becker. "I'm super encouraged by how many girls are interested in STEM fields, and their willingness to speak up and ask fantastic questions. As I told them, I want them to join me and be an engineer!"

From 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. there were various engineering activities followed by a panel discussion with time for a question-and-answer session. Closing remarks were made at 2 p.m. and an optional Ameren inter/co-op information session was offered to anyone who was interested.

This event was made possible by presenting sponsor Ameren Illinois along with gold sponsors Nestle Purina PetCare, Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery and the silver sponsor, Enterprise Mobility.

"This year's event was the first time SWE members solicited sponsorship assistance, which played an integral part in their success. The event's fundraising objectives were to cover all event costs and to generate a profit to pay for the travel costs associated with SWE chapter members attending a regional or national SWE conference where they are exposed to leadership training," said Lisa Smith, Director of Development, School of Engineering. "The support they received from all of the event sponsors made it possible for both objectives to be achieved."

PHOTOS: Attendees and keynote speaker Jackie Becker during SWE's Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at SIUE; photos by Howard Ash