Recap: 2016 Leadership Summit

This past Saturday, September 24th, Tufts University hosted the 2nd annual Region F Leadership Summit. The day was filled with networking opportunities, professional development workshops, Region F headerbusiness updates, and society governance updates.

Jessica Rannow, SWE’s President, gave an insightful early morning Keynote speech. She touched on her journey from her collegiate section to society president.

After the Keynote collegiates attended professional development workshops and professionals a comprehensive Region F business meeting.

Over the next few years the society will be experiencing a few governance changes. Overviews of these changes were discussed during the business meeting. For more information, head over to

In the coming weeks the Region F Collegiate Team will be working on metrics and milestones to support collegiate sections with Outreach and SWENext programs! If you’re section is having any troubles with establishing or maintaining outreach programs, feel free to reach out your Region F Collegiate Representatives! Email:


Open Call for Quotes from Collegiates in STEM major

“Running Through the Finish Line”,  is an upcoming book aimed at giving parents and educators the tools to raise confident and creative STEM-loving girls! The author , Dr. Karen Panetta, is the Associate Dean for Graduate Education at Tufts University and founder of international STEM non-profit NerdGirls.  A part of the book will be dedicated to college. This portion will use a variety of quotes to illustrate the experiences that young women have had in STEM.

Dr. Panetta is requesting quotes from SWE collegiates on their experiences. Quotes should be about 100 words and fall under one of four categories: “Things I Wish I Had Known”, “We All Face Challenges”, “It’s Not All Work”, and “My Inspiration”. More information and examples are provided in this document. More information on Dr. Panetta and the project as a whole are in this document.

3 Ways to earn funding for National Conference

There are many ways for collegiate sections to earn funding for this year’s conference! Since conference is in Pittsburgh, instead of Austin,Tewe16_logo_bgxas, the cost to send members is significantly less than last year for Region F sections.

It is definitely not too late to raise funds for the trip!

Here a few ways:

  1. Fundraise at local restaurants: See if your local Chipotle, or Papa John’s is willing to host a “SWE night” where you could earn as much as 50% of the profits!
  2. Departmental funding: Ask you engineering departments if they have funds for students to attend conferences. If not, ask for funds to be set aside for next year! WE16 is definitely a conference that will benefit your SWE community and th
    e community at large!
  3. Corporate Sponsors: Reaching out to neighboring companies is a great way to raise more funds. If you need need leads, contact your school, or your local professional SWE section.

Of course, there are many other ways to raise the necessary funds. But with 35 days to go, these definitely give a great starting point!





Region F Leadership Summit!

Tufts University SWE chapter will be holding the Region F Leadership Summit on September 24th. The day will be full of professional development activities geared towards both collegiates and seasoned professionals.

It will be a perfect time to sharpen networking skills and learn from other sections in our region!

Registration and breakfast for both collegiates and professionals begins at 9:00am, followed by a welcome and keynote speaker.
Workshops for professionals officially ends at 4:00pm.
Collegiates will have activities until 5:00pm.
From 5:30 – 7:30pm there will be an optional networking dinner, everyone is welcomed to join!

Registration for the summit can be completed at the Eventbrite. Registration closes on September 15th.

See you there!

PepsiCo/SWE Engineering Challenge

The second annual PepsiCo/SWE Engineering Challenge has been kicked off! Teams of up to four undergraduate students are eligible to participate. This challenge for this year is related to improving the performance of PepsiCo’s beverage dispensing equipment.

The selected top three teams will be funded to attend WE16 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, they will have the chance to present their team’s solution. Additionally, the top three teams will receive prizes of $100-$500 for each member. Submissions for this challenge are due on August 5, 2016. For more details and complete rules, visit this website.

SWE Connecticut Science Demonstrations at the Stamford STEMFest

On Saturday, May 14, 2016 volunteers from SWE CT demonstrated engineering principles to over 100 families in Stamford, CT.   The Stamford Public School system hosted their 3rd Annual Stamford STEMFest.  This was the second year that SWE CT participated.  Last year we demonstrated how to make a lemon battery, measure its voltage and compare it to a AA battery.  This year we expanded our electricity demonstrations with 3 demonstration modules, provided hands on circuit building kits, educated families on the contributions of women to science, and promoted SWE and SWENext.


SWE CT stepped up to the plate taking over two demonstration tables and bringing in 6 women from a variety of engineering disciplines.  We again used a lemon battery to teach families about electricity, how to use a multi-meter, how to compare the voltage in a lemon to a household battery, and how to connect lemons in a series to increase the voltage.  We discussed how many lemons were needed to power an LED (3) or replace a car battery (over 6 million).


We then used paper circuits to demonstrate how graphite conducts electricity.  We applied our newfound knowledge about multi-meters to measure the voltage in a circuit drawn on paper using a graphite pencil.  We could even draw in a switch.  Children were able to fold the paper over creating an on/off switch to close the circuit.  They learned how easy it was to transform a   “doodle” into a circuit by connecting a battery and other elements such as an LED.  Children were able to see how a battery, which they had just created with the lemon, could be used to create a circuit.  As they held down the folded paper they were aware that underneath their finger electricity was travelling along the graphite path and that when they released the paper the voltage measured zero.  They now had a concept of the voltage of the rectangular 9 volt battery through the graphite compared to the AA battery and the lemon.


Circuits made of squishy dough, colored LEDs, and batteries were set up to demonstrate the conductivity of yet another material they were familiar with.   In our first two demonstrations the children saw series circuits. Some dough circuits were set up as parallel circuits and some as series circuits.  We tested what happens when an LED was removed from a parallel circuit versus a series circuit.   Cardboard dividers were inserted between dough balls to direct electricity to travel through the LEDs. When the dough balls were reshaped so they touched around the sides of the cardboard we saw the LED light go out as the electricity sought the path of least resistance and avoided going through the LED.  To provide extended learning, we discussed with children how an Arduino (microcontroller) could be connected to squishy dough via a wire jumper from the Arduino pin so that the LED in the dough could light up through a Sketch for the Arduino.


After learning about electricity, ions, chemical reactions creating electrical energy, multi-meters, and parallel and series circuits the children were eager to create their own circuits.  SWE CT provided Snap Circuit boards and electrical elements and let the children build and test their own circuits providing guidance and encouragement as needed.


A pamphlet was handed out to each family.  The pamphlets included detailed instructions on how to reproduce the lemon battery demonstration.  There was an explanation of the science behind what they saw happening.  Web addresses for YouTube videos and reference sites for the paper circuits and squishy dough circuits were provided for extended learning activities. Our pamphlet contained a panel educating families on the contributions that women have made to science.  We talked to families about SWE and the SWENext program.  Flyers were handed out with the web address to sign up for the SWENext program.

The materials for this program were put on our section’s Google drive so that the program as a whole or components of the program can be used for future outreach programs.  This package included:  Volunteer training instructions with video and website references, Snap Circuit diagrams, Graphite-Paper circuit PowerPoint diagrams to color with graphite pencils, the Lemon Battery and Other Circuits pamphlet, and demonstration related slides that can be put on a table or used to create a tri-fold.

Through this outreach SWE CT was able to reach over 100 families many of whom brought several children to our table.  We were able to provide parents with a pamphlet to reproduce the demonstrations at home, explain the science involved, and give online resources for extended learning.  This program also allowed us to bring 6 women engineers (civil, electrical, industrial, and mechanical) into the community as role models for young people interested in STEM.  We promoted the Society of Women Engineers demonstrating its value to the community and encouraged parents to sign up for SWENext.  This was our fourth K-12 outreach.  SWE CT members participated in Girls & STEM Expos in Waterbury and New Haven to educate and promote engineering to over 100 high school girls and we conducted a “Build a Roller Coaster” event for elementary and middle school students earlier in the year which reached 31 students.

Region F Leadership Summit at Tufts this Fall

The Region F Leadership Summit will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at Tufts University. Collegiate members are invited to attend to partake in leadership development workshops, network with other sections, and share best practices.
Sign up now to be notified when registration is live!
If you are interested in presenting at the summit, applications are due by Saturday, July 16. More information about presenting and sponsorship can also be found at the link above.