The Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Honors Program teamed up with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and iCREATE-Division of Information Technology to hold the Summer WISE program, which brought Long Island middle school girls to Stony Brook University to find their inner engineer and take part in a STEM program they will remember for years to come. This outreach initiative focused on providing the young women with exciting application-based and hands-on engineering experiences to help grow their confidence and engineering skill sets.
During the program, students attended one of two sessions offered – the Inventor session (iCREATE) and the Design & Build session (ECE).
Students enrolled in iCREATE’s Inventor session were introduced to innovation, conceptualization, design, branding, and robotics through projects that utilized TinkerCAD, 3D Printing, and Little Bits. Students experienced how to work through the design process to develop and test their prototypes. This experience gave the students a first-hand experience of what it is like to be an innovator. iCREATE challenged the students to analyze how new technologies impact our changing environments and how the students can work to achieve positive impacts on challenges we are facing utilizing engineering and technology.
“iCREATE hosted the summer WISE program, which was a complete success! We had the opportunity to introduce a group of young girls to the fun and creative side of STEM with an emphasis on collaboration. The young women had hands-on exposure to different technology and design ideas. Through these design challenges, our innovation enrichment program gave these students an immersive experience into STEM. The best day was when they designed roller coasters using the concepts they learned in the program — this is inspiring them to be unafraid to create,” said David Ecker, Director of iCREATE.
The Design and Build session introduced electrical engineering through circuitry, programing, and mathematics. On the first day, the students learned how geometry and art are integrated by using TinkerCAD to design a 3D Spirograph. On the second and third day of the program, they were introduced to electronics and integrated circuits. While learning how to read resistor values, the students built their own night light and home security system. On the last two days of the program, the students built a traffic light board with four intersections. The girls used Arduino to code their traffic light board into a 2-player board game. The instructors in this session focused on helping to the girls to see their own engineering aptitudes. On the final day, the students were beaming with accomplishment as they presented their projects to their parents.
“The Design & Build Camp provides a unique opportunity for students to experience hands-on engineering for the first time. This collaboration between the ECE Department and WISE Honors is proof of the strong commitment to promote girl power in engineering and to inspire the future engineering leaders,” said Mónica Bugallo, ECE Professor, WISE Faculty Director, and Associate Dean for Diversity and Outreach for the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.