Women engineers welcome next generation

News-DemocratJanuary 29, 2014 

The Society of Women Engineers at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will bring back a popular event designed to give young women exposure to engineering.

Girls from grades 5 to 8 are invited to attend "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day 2014." The daylong event will take place from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Feb. 22, in the SIUE School of Engineering Building.

This year activities will reflect an amusement park theme. Attendees will build simple circuits and construct parachutes. Small groups will use teamwork to design and create miniature roller coasters. Each activity is expected to last about 45 minutes.

"This is to give them an idea of civil and structural engineering," said Alexis Brown, a senior at SIUE majoring in mechanical engineering.

Professional women engineers and SIUE students will be on site providing support and guidance to program participants as they take part in each of the activities. Following the completion of each activity, the professional engineers and the SIUE engineering students will offer engineering analysis and ask the participants questions about the project.

During the event, the creative problem-solving aspects of engineering will be discussed and explored. The participants will work collaboratively on projects, and be encouraged to ask questions and use their imaginations.

The group is anticipating double the crowd of last year's event, Sofia Chkautovich, a junior civil engineering major, said. Last year's activities drew 115 girls to campus.

"Participants will complete a total of five activities, covering the fields of civil, mechanical, electrical, industrial and computer science engineering,"Chkautovich said. "During its first year, we had such an overwhelming, positive response to our event, from both the school and the community. For this year, we hope to accomplish the same excitement and hope to have even more positive feedback from the participants, SIUE, the community and even the engineering students."

There is a $15 registration fee, which includes all activities, lunch and a T-shirt for each girl. TRegistration is limited to the first 250 participants. For more information, call 618-650-1068, email swesiue@gmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/swesiue.

The Jabali Acrobats will perform Feb. 19 at Southwestern Illinois College in the Belleville Campus Varsity Gym at 2500 Carlyle Ave. The show, featuring fast-paced movements, music, acrobatics and dance, starts at 7 p.m.

"This show will be great fun for the entire family," Coordinator of College Activities Jeff Blue said. "We're bringing the group back because of the tremendous response to the acrobatic group's previous appearances."

The troupe hails from Mombassa, Kenya. Its members perform acrobatic acts, contortions, tumbling, acts and dance moves with names such as the Congo Snake Dance and Flaming Limbo Bar Dance.

Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

For more information, contact College Activities at 618-235-2700, ext. 5561.

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