SWENext DesignLab Community Engagement Challenge

The SWENext DesignLab Community Engagement Challenge is an outreach challenge for high school students in Baltimore, Denver and St. Louis. Teams will have a chance to win $1,000 to implement a community service project and an all expense paid trip to SWE’s annual conference, WE19, in Anaheim, California.

Teams will solve community problems using engineering and design solutions with women engineers in their community. Teams who enter the challenge will get experience in grant proposal writing, project implementation, presentation skills and leadership. Click here to download the Proposal Brief – a description of the new Community Engagement Challenge.


Enter the Challenge

To express your interest in the Challenge, receive necessary resources, and be paired with a SWE Advisor each team must submit an Entry Proposal.

Step 1: Read the Proposal Brief and watch the Orientation Webinar
This will provide you an understanding of the challenge objectives and requirements.

Step 2: Assemble your team.
Your team must consist of 5-15 high school students and one faculty member. At least 50% of your team must identify as female.

Step 3: Identify an economic or environmental community need that can be solved using engineering.
Submit an entry proposal describing the problem. The entry proposal is an expression of interest to provide contact information, receive necessary resources and be paired with a SWE Advisor. You will also be asked to provide basic information about a community issue your team is interested in exploring.

  • Baltimore: December 23rd, 2018
  • Denver: January 23rd, 2019
  • St. Louis: January 23rd, 2019

Step 4: Meet your SWE advisor.
SWE will connect you with a SWE member in your local area to help your team design your service project.

Step 5: Outline your project.
Your Design Outline will detail the community issue identified and a hands-on engineering activity that can solve this issue.

  • Baltimore: February 1st, 2019
  • Denver: February 15th, 2019
  • St. Louis: February 15th, 2019

Step 6: Present your project at DesignLab.
You and your team will have five minutes to present your project to a panel of women engineers and program partners at DesignLab in Baltimore, Denver or St. Louis.

Step 7: Implement your service project.
The top three projects will receive a $1,000 grant from SWE to actually implement your service project in the community, partnering with a local middle school to engage students in STEM.

Step 8: Share your experience with SWE.
The top three teams will compete to win an all expense paid trip to SWE’s annual conference, WE19, in Anaheim, California. Submit a video of your activity and service project to enter.