Society of Women in Engineering brings SWENext to UNF

Ambar Ramirez, Reporter

On Thursday, Sept. 26, SWENext held its first informational meeting. Co-hosted by the Society of Women in Engineering and the Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering, the event was aimed at pre-collegiate students interested in pursuing a career in STEM.

Pre-collegiate students had the chance to mingle with other students, that like them are interested in following a career in STEM. They also had the chance to speak with UNF’s Engineering students and faculty, to gain insight into what the club has to offer. 

“Our goal for SWENext for UNF is to basically bring high schoolers and middle schoolers together on UNF’s campus, not only to promote UNF, but also bring the community together,” President of SWE Summer Bradley said. “The club aims to help those pursuing a career in STEM by having  high schoolers and middle schoolers mentor each other and then to have college students mentor everyone.”

It’s no question that the gender gap in STEM fields is wide, with women making up only 13% of engineers and making 90 cents for every dollar male engineers make, according to the Society of Women in Engineering. Despite these statistics, SWENext is not closed off to welcoming both genders.

“I think diversity is super important, especially in a field dominated by men,” Bradley said. “Women are just finally gaining numbers in STEM fields, but by welcoming both boys and girls alike we can break that stigma.”

The club hopes to expand in order to not only accomplish more but to bring more mentorship and help those that are not in college to gain experience. The program will allow students between the ages 13-18 to connect, compete in STEM based competitions, gain volunteer hours, and build their college resume. 


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