Students in the Department of Biomedical Engineering worked in collaborations with others in the School of Engineering to ensure that middle school-aged girls from around the greater Birmingham area had a blast during the Fall 2019 Girls in Science and Engineering Day event on Saturday, October 26.

swe2019 small From left, Emma Schmidt (BME), Dr. Virginia Sisiopiku (CCEE, SWE Faculty Advisor), Dr. Kathryn Lanier (Southern Research), Kyla Luechtefeld (BME), and Natasha Wright (ME).Girls in Science and Engineering Day was created in 2011 as a unique event designed to inspire and empower Birmingham-area middle school girls to excel in science and engineering fields. This was the second GSED in 2019 after a successful spring event.

"I am proud of our student volunteers," said GSED organizer and civil engineering professor Virginia Sisiopiku. "Their warm welcome, along with their personal commitment to STEM, had a profound impact on our young guests. I am confident events like this help create a positive perception regarding women in engineering and science."

swe 2019 2The 80 or so girls who participated took part in nine exciting workshops that involved problem-solving activities, games, and design challenges that empowered them to consider careers in STEM. These included Electrical Engineering; Chemistry; Reptilian Biology; Computer Science; Soldering; 3D Printing & Virtual Reality; Forensics; Binary Code Bracelets; and Magnets & MRI.

Kathryn Lanier, Ph.D., STEM Education Outreach Director for Southern Research, gave a keynote lecture breaking down STEM stereotypes and motivating the girls to pursue their dreams.

FThe Society of Women Engineers (SWE) UAB organized the event, including Emma Schmidt (president), Kyla Luchtefeld (VP Outreach); Natasha Wright (treasurer), and Mariam Massoud (secretary). Luechtefeld is an Honor college student pursuing a degree in BME.

The event was a wonderful way to empower girls to succeed in STEM careers.

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