Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Last Minute Preparations for our Celebration of Women in Science and Engineering

Tomorrow is our second annual Carleton Celebration of Women in Science and Engineering, hosted by CU-WISE.  This is an event I came up with last year after attending Grace Hopper.  I wanted to emphasize women "doing stuff" rather than focusing only on the problem of too few women in science and engineering.  We had research, outreach, and professional development talks followed by a speaker's dinner where some amazing networking took place.

This year, I wanted to take it a step further.  I put out a call to high school girls, inviting them to attend the talks and a speaker's lunch where they could network and be mentored.

Although most outreach events have hands-on components and we weren't able to fit any in to this event, our speakers know that their talks are to be geared toward the level of understand of these students.

As a result, anyone outside of your own discipline, be it the general public or even students in a totally different area of science/engineering, will be able to understand and get excited.  I've been encouraging the speakers to look at TED and TEDx talks for inspiration and ideas (particularly the video below from TEDxCarletonU).

During our lunch, we will also have some robots from the robotics club, and hopefully some Snap Circuits to play with.  Plus one of our talks will be a dissection demo! Cool!

Putting this event together was more stressful for me than last year, given how much more is involved with the venue and the inclusion of high school students.  (For example we almost ended up not having chairs for the audience!!)  But I think it's all coming together now.... which means I should get started on my own talk, "What do soap operas and video games have to do with women in computer science?";)

I'll let you all know how it goes!


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