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Women in Engineering and Computing Career Day Set for October 24

On Monday, October 24, 224 young women from 25 high schools in Massachusetts and the region - including Springfield, Chicopee, Greenfield, and Orange - will explore the fields of engineering and computing through hands-on activities. The event is the annual Women in Engineering and Computing Career Day Conference, and the aim of this program is to excite, inspire, and encourage young women to pursue engineering or computer science as an academic track and career path.

The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium and nearby conference rooms at UMass Amherst, where activities and discussions will be geared towards female high school students to introduce them to the fields of engineering and computing.

Alaina Hanlon Adams – a Ph.D. and M.S. alumna in Mechanical Engineering from UMass Amherst and the CEO at HealthyNation – will serve as keynote speaker, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the auditorium. 

Among the educational, entertaining, and informative activities for the young women are several sessions designed to introduce them to various disciplines in engineering and computer science.

One breakout session is the “The Ice Cream Game – Introduction to Industrial Engineering Through Supply Chain Management.” The modern economy provides us with access to a wide variety of goods for consumption. But the task of managing this system is complicated. Industrial engineering is concerned with managing systems and processes, including complicated supply chain networks. In this session, participants will take part in a supply chain simulation in which they will have to make production and distribution decisions based on limited information.

A second activity will be an “Intro to Environmental Engineering – Don’t Get Your Community Sick, Stop the Contamination Quick!” Are you interested in how contaminants move though a groundwater system? We will explore how past engineering solutions may create contemporary problems and why the identification of a pollution source is a key component to keeping our water clean. 

In addition, a third activity is called “Chibitronics! Introduction to Electrical Engineering through Story Telling and Art.” From our cell phones to the systems that provide us clean water, in almost any aspect of our lives we depend upon devices powered by electronic circuits. Electrical and computer engineers help design and build these systems, improving their function, increasing their efficiency, and coming up with the next great tool. In this breakout session, students will learn the basics of electronic circuits and create their own electronic art.

Additionally, another activity will allow students to “Play It/Code It – Programming with Games and Scratch.” This session is being conducted by Professor Ben Marlin, College of Information and Computer Science.

Meanwhile, the high school participants will view demonstrations of state-of-the-art technology and mingle with industry representatives from BAE, General Dynamics, Google, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon, Verizon, Vista Print (a Cimpress Company), and Woodard & Curran.

In addition, teachers and counselors from the 25 participating high schools will learn about opportunities in engineering and computing, as well as admission to the College of Engineering and the College of Information and Computer Sciences at UMass Amherst.

This year’s Women in Engineering and Computing Career Day Conference sponsors are Raytheon, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Society of Women Engineers, the UMass Amherst College of Engineering, UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences, and the Verizon Foundation. (October 2016)