SWENext Club Promotes Gender Equality in STEM

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SWENext Club Promotes Gender Equality in STEM

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Today, careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), like engineering, rise in popularity. And more and more young adults aim to work in the field one day.

The SWENext Club (Society of Women Engineers) was created at Livermore High last December to support students who want to do just that and increase gender equality within the field.

The club is a chapter of a program started at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. A few students including Rebecca Wheeler (12) and Bani Badhwar (12) visited Cal Poly on a field trip where they learned about the program.

Club officers are President Wheeler, Vice President Sfurti Gaudani (12), Treasurer Badhwar, and Historian Jeannie Bae (12).

“We want to open the field of engineering and opportunities to women,” Wheeler stated. The main focus of the club is to promote equality for all in the field of STEM and engineering.

The club has previously focused on mentoring and volunteering with middle schoolers. Last year, they created rocket slingshots with the younger students according to Wheeler.

Other activities in the club include outreach programs, guest speakers, field trips, and exposure to STEM.

The main goal the club is building a workbench for the school to participate in the Cal Poly Design Challenge.

The typical club meeting involves a powerpoint to go over meeting details and ends with an engineering fact provided by Wheeler. On the day they were interviewed, Wheeler was drawing a sketch for the workbench.

Club Advisor Dorothy Morallos has a Civil Engineering degree and was involved in the club during college. She wants to pass on her lessons to younger women in STEM and focus on female empowerment.

“It’s inspiring to see the ideas in the club.”, she shared. Morallos also stated her hopes to expand club involvement beyond the GEA program (Green Engineering Academy).

“I want to be an engineer,” Rogers stated as her main reason for joining the club. However, you do not need to necessarily want to be an engineer or in the STEM field as a career to join.

Veronica Valenton (12) explained, “I’m exploring the field and it’s an option for me.”

Members encourage students who want exposure to STEM and to work on gender equality within the field to join.

SWENext meets every Thursdays in room S-12.