The latest group of girls for WTS Philadelphia’s Transportation YOU 2015-16 program was welcomed at a kick-off event held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Urban Engineers’ office. The Tr YOU mentors teamed up with the 17 mentees and were split into 5 groups for a photo scavenger hunt throughout Old City where much was learned about transportation and history in the City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection)! The photos taken by all teams werecreative and fun and the winning team managed to get almost all of the 39 clues in the scavenger hunt! The clues had us chasing all modes of transportation including NJ Transit buses, duck boats, cyclists, Philly Phlash buses – we got quite the workout and took a good amount of selfies! After walking all over Old City, lunch was provided back at Urban Engineers LEED Certified offices and prizes were awarded to the team with the most points as well as the team with the most creative photo. Thanks to all who organized and participated in this event!
On November 7, 2015, WTS Philadelphia’s Transportation You (TrYOU) program held their second event of this program year which had a mechanical engineering focus. The event took place at Temple University and was hosted by their student chapter of Society of Women Engineers (SWE). To get to know one another, all attendees participated in an exciting game of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors with a twist. Everyone broke up into pairs and played the game. The loser of each match becomes the winner’s cheerleader, and the winner would play against the next group until there were only two girls left and each had their own cheering squad!
For the mechanical engineering activities, the girls were split into groups and worked alongside their TrYOU mentors and SWE members at stations where they participated in four mini projects. The mini projects included building marble rollercoasters, hovercrafts, and ping pong ball launchers. Once each mentee had perfected their design of the ping pong ball launcher, they competed against each other for best design and furthest launch! The groups also worked together to build containers to protect an egg during a 10 foot drop. While no eggs were lucky enough to survive, the girls analyzed why their designs didn’t work and how they could improve it.
A special thank you goes out to Temple SWE for hosting this incredible event!
On January 9, 2016 WTS Philadelphia’s Transportation You (TrYOU) program held their third event of the program year focusing on transit, urban planning and connectivity. The event was hosted by SEPTA and included a tour of the nearby Dilworth Park at City Hall. Before the tour Drew Scott of Urban Engineers, an engineering manager on the project, presented the design and construction constraints involved in the development of Dilworth Park. Throughout the tour, Mr. Scott pointed out some of the various ways that Dilworth Park was designed to show off the beauty and history of Center City, Philadelphia.
Next, the girls learned more about transit from George Spellman of SEPTA. He gave an exciting presentation then asked the mentees to list all of the benefits of mass transit. Each group came up with a team name and presented their creative and insightful ideas. Finally, the mentees got a little bit of an acting lesson! George selected a few of the mentees to act out the Allegory of the Cave, as a way of teaching them the value of new learning experiences, and overcoming the "unknown". Overall, the girls had a great time and learned about some exciting transit and planning developments within their own city. TrYOU sends a special thank you to both Urban Engineers' Drew Scott and SEPTA's George Spellman for such a great event!”
College applications, experiences, and scholarships are a few of the topics discussed during WTS Philadelphia Transportation YOU’s (Tr YOU) fourth event of the year, the College Q&A Panel. The event featured a diverse panel of 11 collegiate students from University of Pennsylvania, Temple, Drexel, and Widener Universities.
During the panel, students shared anecdotes, experiences, and advice about their journeys through college. Our Tr YOU girls and their parents asked questions about everything from “which high school courses best prepare you for college?” to “how did you adjust to living in a dorm?” Following the panel, our Tr YOU girls participated in a Rube Goldberg challenge, using household items ranging from paper towel rolls to dominos. This activity not only encouraged our girls’ critical thinking and problem solving but also promoted creativity in a non-traditional learning environment. If you are interested in checking out the Tr YOU Philly Rube Goldberg experiment, visit us on Facebook at: WTS Transportation You Philly.
Last month, the girls of Transportation YOU got nerdy and explored the various exciting areas of STEM through hands-on activities at the Philadelphia Science Carnival. While at the carnival we were taught how to create mini lava lamps from oil and food coloring, learned about 3D printing, and created colorful bouncy balls using chemical reaction between borax, water, cornstarch, and glue.
Our girls also were challenged by Temple University to design a mini hover craft using an electrical motor, CD, and propeller. This activity taught our girls about basic mechanical principles, and the importance of the aesthetic appeal of a product. Following the hover craft activity, the Tr YOU girls stepped into their future STEM careers at the Tr YOU photo booth. This year, as an outreach effort, Tr YOU featured a photo booth with life-sized cutouts of an Architect, Environmental Engineer and a backdrop of the I-95 construction site that allowed students to dress the part of a Transportation Engineer and snap a selfie into their future careers. If you are interested in seeing photos visit us on Facebook at: WTS Transportation You Philly.
On June 11, 2016 WTS Philadelphia’s Transportation You (TrYOU) program held their final event of the program year. The event took place in the Burns Engineering offices in Center City Philadelphia and included a presentation and speech by Angela Jones, an Administrative Law Judge at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. First, the mentors, mentees, Ms. Jones, and any parents present participated in an ice breaker event. The group broke off into pairs, learned three facts about their partner, and then presented those facts to the group. After everyone got to know one another a little better, Ms. Jones began her presentation to the group. She spoke passionately about her upbringing and decision to pursue a career in engineering and then to further that career by earning her law degree and combining her interests as a judge for the Utility Commission. Then, the mentees had an opportunity to ask Ms. Jones any questions they had about her life and fascinating career path.
Next, the mentees watched a presentation recapping the group’s events for the year. This was a chance for everyone to look back on all of the exciting experiences that they had been a part of throughout the program. Finally, the girls were presented with gifts and certificates recognizing their participation in the program’s best year yet!
On September 17, 2016, WTS Philadelphia Transportation You (TrYOU) held their Kickoff Event for the 2016-2017 program year focusing on transit, urban planning, and connectivity. As the event was hosted by SEPTA, the mentees were given the following challenge: if you had endless resources, determine how you would improve the stations in Center City.
To complete the challenge, the mentees along with their mentors broke up into groups and visited the major SEPTA stations (Suburban Station, 15th Street Station, City Hall Station) in Center City as an urban transit planner to come up with proposed modifications for improved aesthetics as well as increased mobility and safety. The mentees then compiled their great ideas by adding sketches, maps, and lists to poster boards and gave a short presentation to the parents and mentors. After the presentations, SEPTA's Manager of Long Range Planning, Liz Smith, told the group about their actual proposed changes to the stations. Amazingly, many of the ideas the mentees thought of are in line with the modifications and programs that SEPTA is preparing to enact over the next few years. TrYOU sends a special thank you to SEPTA's Liz Smith!
TrYOU Philadelphia was there - SWE 2016 Invent It Build It EXPO!
TrYou mentors had the exciting opportunity to perform outreach at this year's Society for Women Engineers (SWE) Invent It Build It Expo. The event received over 1,200 attendees and focused on inspiring our next generation of female engineers through hands-on education activities in the areas of STEM. The girls also had the chance to interact with industry professionals to learn more about the endless career possibilities in STEM. The mentors of TrYOU networked with middle school and high school girls, as well as parents, educators, and other exhibitors. It was wonderful to see so many girls, and supporting women, excited about STEM. We look forward to following up with our contacts from the event and working with many of them next program year.