The SWENext Club is a club founded in the 2019-2020 school year as part of the Society of Women Engineers, a national organization for women in STEM recently open to high school students.
The purpose of this club is to provide female students resources on engineering and its different types so that those who are interested in math, science, and technology can learn more about these areas and the field of engineering. Its purpose is to spark interest in those who not only tend to be good in these areas but are also fascinated by them.
“I joined SWE to see the wide reach of engineering and hopefully find a specific kind of engineering that creates a spark in me for a future career,” club’s Vice President Paola Valdes-Sueiras said. “I have always loved to design and build and to find out how things work, so this club was a perfect fit for me.”
The SWENext club, in its short time, has held many different activities for its members and any students interested. In the midst of the pandemic, it has held various club meetings through zoom and eLearning series in topics like robotics, technology, sustainability, and others.
Its biggest event was Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, an activity hosted at the University of Miami to learn about the different types of engineering. This year it was held online via zoom. In the year before, activities like building a small robot and launching paper rockets were done. Many members enjoyed this day and felt that it guided them in their search for what is what interests them and what they would like to do in the future.
“Without a club like this, I don’t think there is enough information for female students other than the main already known career options,” club moderator Mrs. Veronica Recio said. “It provides them the opportunity to do something new and develop another interest while also having fun.”
This club has challenged societal rules by pushing women into STEM related areas. It motivates women to pursue their passions despite others’ beliefs. The club has inspired its members to find a new interest within themselves in the fields of mathematics and engineering, not very common areas for women to be motivated in, through engaging in numbers of activities and exposing the students to something different than what they usually encounter.
“As girls, you may be good at math, science, and technology, but very few people know what engineers do and all the fields within the career,” Recio said. “That is why the club’s purpose is to spark interest in those who tend to be good at these areas and motivate them to pursue them.”
The club meets on the 4th Tuesday of every month, in addition to the different informative series held and other activities.