Women account for just under 11 percent of students majoring in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University this semester, according to the ISU Office of Registrar. Women in Mechanical Engineering (WiME), however, is here to provide a system of support to those students.
WiME is a new and upcoming student organization at Iowa State University. They aim to provide a safe and strong support group for women majoring in mechanical engineering that allows them to network with others. Their objective to actively promote ISU’s College of Engineering through outreach and activities, according to Chloe Serp, president of WiME.
“What makes us different from other organizations in the Women in Science and Engineering program is that we do it with our faculty and graduate students, and everybody is welcome to come participate,” Serp said. “It’s a way for women in mechanical engineering to meet each other and see familiar faces in their classes, since there’s not a lot of females in mechanical engineering.”
At a typical meeting, students always eat dinner together, make crafts and sometimes do informal presentations, according to Elizabeth Pierce, outreach chair for WiME. “It’s more of a social gathering, and we really encourage anyone to come,” Pierce said. They also like to do activities that spark the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) interest, such as building towers and bridges with marshmallows and spaghetti.
“It’s my only non-academic club, so it’s really easy to drop on in,” Kenna Short, freshman in mechanical engineering, said. “I know more people in my department now and can greet people in my classes.”
WiME also participates in early outreach. On Sept. 8-10, 2017, they attended the Engineering Ambassadors Network conference at the University of Nebraska. They gave a presentation to middle school and high school students, hoping to spark interest in STEM fields and the potential to pursue it as a career.
“We want to bring together the women in mechanical engineering and create interest for the younger generation to become mechanical engineers,” Serp said. “We want to show them what it’s all about.”
WiME is predicted to be approved as a student organization within the next few months. Meanwhile, Serp has been sending emails to female students majoring in mechanical engineering at ISU for monthly get-togethers.
Meetings are usually held on the first Thursday of every month from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Black Engineering 2004 and are open to all ISU students. Those who are interested should contact Chloe Serp at [email protected] for more information.