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SWE (Society of Women Engineers) Affiliate Pune group organized "Wow! That’s Engineering" event on July 09, 2016. In the 4th consecutive year, this event has progressed from being a John Deere India initiative to Pune city level event where Cummins India Limited extended support as a sponsor this year.
The purpose of the event is to bring awareness among girl students about engineering as a career. There were 60 girl students from grades 8th to 10th from four schools who participated in this event. It kicked off with a welcome note and overview of SWE, followed by keynote addresses from Mukul Varshney (V. P. Public Affairs, John Deere India) and Asmita Khairnar (Director, Cummins Electronics). Mukul Varshney emphasized the importance of honesty and hard work combined with passion to shape a successful career. Asmita Khairnar emphasized the need of STEM education in the development of a community.
The inspiring speeches set the context for the event and filled the environment with positive energy. In the next session Stueti Gupta (Senior Lead Engineer, John Deere India and President, SWE Affiliate Pune) provided students with an overview of Engineering disciplines and their related professions. To make students aware of the concepts of engineering, two hands-on activities with a hydraulic loader and vacuum cleaner were organized, which enabled students to be engaged in a fun way. The hydraulic loader activity was based on "Basic Concept of Hydraulics and Kinematics" where they built the working hydraulic loader model by use of syringes and vinyl tubes filled with water as a hydraulic system.
In the second activity, students developed a vacuum cleaner out of a bottle, fan and battery materials utilizing the concepts of "Air Pressure and Pressure Difference." The excitement was visible while students were getting practical experience. The event allowed students to interact with women engineers from various engineering fields. This interaction helped them to understand the engineering profession, professionals and excitement involved in these kinds of jobs. Every woman engineer shared her contributions in engineering fields and how her day-to-day efforts help making communities better. The event ended with a key message "If she can do it, I can do it."
As per the feedback and post-event surveys from the students, 100% of them were aware and considered engineering a positive career for females. Also, we received feedback from teachers that the event was very interactive and mentioned their willingness to participate in such events in the future as well. As per them, the event addressed numerous myths about engineering in their minds and gave students an opportunity to gain first-hand engineering experience. There was overwhelming excitement which was evident on the student faces. The teachers said that it was "Wow" experience for them.
Shobha Pandey (General Manager - HR, John Deere India) highlighted the importance and role of the diversity in the organization and its success.
The Organizing Team comprised of SWE Affiliate Pune members and 20 volunteers from sponsoring organizations. The team’s commitment, leadership and alignment starting from planning to the last minute of the event were commendable.