As part of National Engineers Week on Feb. 21-24, Cal Poly’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) visited local fourth-grade classrooms throughout the Central Coast to expose students to the possibilities of engineering. SWE's Fourth Grade Days involved SWE members interacting with the young students and engaging them in hands-on activities. The annual event provides an opportunity for SWE members to serve as role models while sharing their passion for math and science and all things related to engineering with the goal of inspiring elementary school-age girls and boys to see engineering and technology as a rewarding career path.
Through a team activity such as constructing a paper platform to hold as many textbooks as possible, students learn what shapes are best suited for building structures. More than 800 fourth-grade students from schools in Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Cambria, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo participated.
“As we’ve seen from past Fourth Grade Days, the more that these young students understand the fun of ‘thinking like an engineer,’ the more they want to be one," said Claudia Mendez, a mechanical engineering major and SWE elementary outreach chair. "To see them discover the excitement of engineering through our presentation is a special satisfaction for us as Cal Poly Engineering students.”