Each year, the Rochester Institute of Technology SWE section hosts an Overnight and Shadow Program. This year was our 9th annual and we hosted 64 high school junior girls from all over the country on our campus from March 19 until March 20! As the girls are just beginning to think about college and majors, we hope to teach them about engineering.
The girls have the opportunity to interact with current engineering students at RIT, meet professional women from local industries, tour the RIT campus and learn about the different engineering disciplines. After an evening of team building and meeting professionals, we have an opportunity to share our campus with them by taking them to eat in our dining halls and showing them dorm rooms. Then we break up the girls into groups of approximately 30 to have a giant sleepover (complete with candy)!
The next day, the sleepy eyed teenagers rise early for mock classes taught by RIT professors in Computer Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Then the girls have the opportunity to participate in interactive activities highlighting mechanical engineering, computer engineering, industrial engineering, microelectronic engineering, electrical engineering, packaging engineering and biomedical engineering! This variety of activities includes making a screw in our machine shop, soldering their very own circuit boards, processing wafers in the clean room, programming robots to navigate a maze and more! Finally, we challenge the girls to be engineers and design a contraption to prevent an egg from breaking when it’s dropped from three stories!
The volunteers and visiting students had a great time this year, and we hope to see a few of the girls back in 2010 as freshmen engineers! We’ve already started preparing for next year’s bigger and better Overnight and Shadow Program!