Author: Cieana Detloff
Making an Impact. This has been a theme for me in 2020, both professionally and personally – so bear with me while I bring you through this thought! If you’ve seen the February Print & Digital Edition, you’ll know these words are bold across the cover. I was so proud of this issue because of the ways this mag SHOWS how some conscientious companies, trade associations, and especially *individuals* are having a serious effect on the current state of things. We are living in a time when some things can seem so BIG, so overwhelming, that we can forget that there are a lot of little things that, when you add them up, can be done to truly make a difference. Take for example something as simple as a hashtag. One person can use a hashtag in a social media post and then people in their social circles can see it, pick it up and use it. Then that hashtag around a central topic gets shared with several other social networks, until you have more than just a hashtag. You have a movement.
This is what I see with #Eweek2020 – a movement. One that makes a real difference. When I first saw it, I think about 4 years ago, I was in awe of DiscoverE and what their organization was doing. With their continued messaging, and because I’m surrounded by so many inspiring engineers through the PumpTalk Community and Empowering Women in Industry, I decided that I can contribute – even if I’m not an engineer.
On Friday, I had the opportunity to participate in my daughter’s first grade Valentine’s Day party. With the teacher’s approval, I brought a STEM activity for each child to build a ‘heart’ using gummy hearts and toothpicks. Was I worried they’d eat the fruit-punch-smelling gummies before we could start? Was I worried the kids might stab themselves (or each other) with the pointy ends of the toothpicks? Was I worried they would think this activity would be ‘stupid’ or ‘boring’? Of course, but I certainly did not let anything stop me! I was determined to challenge the kids, and I started by asking them if they saw any simple shapes inside the heart.
The students pointed out triangles and diamonds, and then I framed my fingers around one of the two hexagons that would make up the left and right sides of the heart. We talked about the hexagon shape, counted the number of sides and angles it had, and then agreed to start there. Each child counted out 6 gummies and 12 toothpicks to begin their first hexagon. It was fascinating seeing the kids start with different approaches – some laying out the gummies in a round shape and others working in a linear fashion. The kids did their best to keep themselves from eating the gummies (to my amazement) and were very proud of themselves once they had created a larger heart shape from the smaller shapes inside. With counting, visualization, and hands-on activity, I felt like this 90-minute STEM session was pretty successful!
So now I’m challenging you! Participate in Engineers Week this week! (It’s from the 16th to the 22nd). I’m excited to continue participating by meeting other engineers and professionals at the WWETT Show and I’ll also be on an #EBIndustryTour on Wednesday so use the hashtags #PumpTalk and #Eweek2020 to see all the activity and share what you’re up to! Companies, Associations, and People alike – let’s Make an Impact!