Building the future

UMD Society of Women Engineers members introduce STEM to everyday engineering

The lock screen on Sara Stone’s phone displays the quote, “A brand is a promise.” It’s a reminder for her to show up in life in ways that reflect her values. One of those values: service to others.

Stone, and members of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at UMD, hosted the event, “Mommy, Me, & SWE” in December to give 1st through 3rd grade girls an introduction to STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

“You see all these women pushing themselves into fields where there isn’t a ton of representation … it makes you want to strive for more,” said Stone, a graduate student in applied material science, majored in electrical engineering as an undergrad at UMD.

Attendees and their guardians made lip gloss, extending hand grabbers, and a terrarium, all while learning which STEM field each activity is related to. For example, lip gloss creation involves chemical engineering, while hand grabber production requires skills in mechanical engineering.

SWE president, Sophie Lenz, a civil engineering student, attended a similar event when she was in high school, which inspired her to pursue a degree in civil engineering. Now, she’s happy to be that inspiration for others.

“Honestly, it’s been one of my favorite parts about college,” said Lenz.