Engineering Femineer event showcased STEM

By Elaine DeLeon

The Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering held its first Femineer summit on campus, and those who attended were able to learn about what a career in engineering can offer men and women.

The Femineer program was created and funded by the CPP’s College of Engineering to help motivate more female students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

According to Gerri Cole, College of Engineering outreach program director, the purpose of the summit was for every student to showcase her projects based on her own ideas and creativity.

Since January students have been working on these projects until the final reveal of their work at the Femineer Summit.

“The Summit was an opportunity for students to come together and showcase what they’ve been working on since January,” said Cole. “Not only did they get to showcase what they were working on, but it was also to meet other female STEM professionals and to meet others that shared their interest.”

This year the program is in cooperation with 10 different schools in the local area. This was the first year the Femineer program decided to expand the program to many schools and used the program as a way to increase its outreach to garner more attention to women in STEM.

It first started in 2013, when its first students came from Fremont Academy of Engineering and Design in Pomona and hosted 24 girls.

These students are now in their third year and some are on their way to graduate high school, getting ready to enroll into college STEM programs.

There were also professionals who attended the event, varying in backgrounds from STEM industries to CPP professors. Each of them had time and his or her own panel to speak to students and answer any questions they had.

“We had a very wide variety of different people to speak to,” said Nicole Gutzke, the College of Engineering’s program coordinator for Project Lead the Way & Women in Engineering.

A club fair was also included at the event. Multiple clubs and organizations attended, and representatives gave their advice and insight to students.

Nenetzin Rodriguez, the CSU STEM VISTA Student Success coordinator and community liaison for the College of Engineering, organized the fair. The club fair was meant to show students what clubs to join if they came to CPP.

“Engineering isn’t just about going to class and doing work. It’s also about being a part of organizations and clubs that help you discover what you enjoy about engineering,” said Rodriguez.

All CPP engineering clubs were invited to the event to show as much variety as possible, Rodriguez explained

Workshops were also at the event, as students were able to talk to various advisors throughout the summit. One of them was a STEM premiered workshop, which is designed to help students network and find out more about STEM-based careers.

“These workshops are meant to show students what to prepare for in college and what kind of resources they can get when they go to college,” said Rodriguez.

There was even a College of Engineering tour given to attendees.

“This event wouldn’t be possible without the engineering students on campus, and for that we are truly grateful,” said Cole.

Over 300 students ranging from elementary school to high school attended the event.

The Femineer staff plans to make the summit an annual event, where students in the Femineer program could start working on their projects in fall and have their projects ready by spring or summer 2017. There are also plans to expand this program to schools across the nation.

“This is meant to ” since [students are] so young ” to encourage them into STEM and to realize that females can bring a variety of impact on the STEM world, and that it’s not just for males,” said Gutzke.

Femineer summit

Courtesy of CPP Engineering

Femineer summit

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