Women in Engineering Day Inspires Enthusiasm in STEM

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Students were challenged to think like engineers to learn how new technology impacts our changing environment.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, Stony Brook University’s Women in Science and Engineering Honors Program (WISE) held the Women in Engineering Day on March 10 in collaboration with the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, iCREATE – Division of Information Technology, Physics and Astronomy, and student organizations Women in Computer Science, Society of Women Engineers and the American Society for Civil Engineers.

Women in Engineering Day inspired young middle school women from Brentwood Union Free School District and William Floyd School District to pursue STEM disciplines in a day-long event filled with hands-on workshops, innovative education, demonstrations, tours of laboratory facilities, mentoring and panel discussions.

Students were challenged to think like engineers to learn how new technology impacts our changing environment within various workshops provided by Kaitlin Brown, laboratory director in the Department of Civil Engineering; David Ecker, director of iCREATE; and Anurag Purwar, research associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

In addition, students were the given the opportunity to visualize themselves as engineers and researchers by the various lab tours and demonstrations given by Jim Quinn, director of laboratories; Richard (Rick) Darienzo and Olivia Donaldson, PhD candidates from the Department of Materials Sciences and Chemical Engineering; Richard Lefferts, CASE NSL technical director from the Department of Physics and Astronomy; and Wei Yin, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Innovation Lab Director David Ecker works with students.

Innovation Lab Director David Ecker works with students.

Students were linked with undergraduate and graduate student mentors — Mala Ananth, Lyufei Chen, Isabela Kernin, Hannah Kim, Temitope Lemoru, Maren Mitch, Ashi Mohindru, Alyssa Montalbano and Shruti Sharma. While assisting students in their activities, the mentors shared their academic and professional advice, experiences and successes with the students.

During the afternoon panel featuring Jennifer Lembeck, Alyssa Montalbano, and Shruti Sharma, and Xinwei Mao, students engaged in a student-centered dialogue and asked panelists about their academic, professional and personal experiences while becoming engineers and researchers.

“It was remarkable to see the synergy between the departments involved in the Women in Engineering Day event,” said Jacquelyn Sheehan, Middle and High School WISE coordinator. “It was our goal to demonstrate that these young women can become our next engineers and innovators. By the end of the event, we all saw the gleaning excitement and eagerness they had to learn more about engineering.”

The Women in Engineering Day was provided with support from the Long Island Community Foundation and Stony Brook University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

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