Outreach is important! Many of us would not be where we are without someone else taking the time to teach us a bit about STEM. For me, it was participating in an Engineering summer camp that helped convince me to be an engineer. What was it for you?
Numbers are also important. As graduate students, we understand that data needs to be collected to convince others of the impact of our design or research projects.
Combine outreach and numbers and we get the SWE Outreach Metrics Tool! The OMT is a rather neat way of measuring the impact of SWE members around the world.
This means that you can catalog EVERY outreach activity you engage in to further SWE’s mission.
- Volunteer at your local Science Olympiad? Enter it.
- Give high schoolers a tour of your lab or company? Enter it.
- Visit an elementary school for career day? Enter it.
- Collaborate with Tau Beta Pi for one of their programs? Enter it.
The more data we collect, the more we can advocate for the SWE mission!
Okay, now you are thinking, “Liz, this is great! But, I don’t do much outreach…” Fear not dear SWE member, there are lots of resources to help you. I’ve listed a few interesting ones below.
- Constance and Nano – SWE’s new comic book: http://constanceandnano.swe.org/
- Simple Science “Snacks” from San Francisco’s Exploratorium: https://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks
- SWE’s Outreach Home Page: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/k-12-outreach
- SWE Member Resources: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/swe-members
- Instructions on how to plan an event: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/page/4768-Outreach-Toolkit
My current favorite is the new SWE poster! What is your favorite outreach tool?