SWENext DesignLab Inspires Providence Girls to Design, Create, and Engineer

Thank you to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) for allowing us to bring you information on this great event.

Two girls designing as engineers for SWENext DesignLab as part of STEM programming Providence Moms Blog“You can’t be what you can’t see. SWENext DesignLab shows girls that they can change the world with engineering” ~ Randy Freedman, Director of Student Programs at SWE

An exciting engineering event for middle schoolers is coming to Providence! SWENext DesignLab is for girls in grades 6-8, their families and teachers. The event is designed to show girls the creative and innovative facets of engineering.

SWENext DesignLab will take place Saturday, April 21, 2018, 2:00-5:00 p.m. at the Rhode Island Convention Center as part of WE Local Providence, the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) local conference and career fair. Part of SWE’s mission is to engage the future generation of women engineers, inspiring young ladies to pursue their interests in science and technology and giving them the resources to do so.

So many young girls show an interest in STEM, yet only 29 percent of bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are earned by women. Despite performing at similar levels as their male classmates, girls’ confidence and interest in engineering and math experience a decline during middle school. What’s more is that young girls don’t correlate helping people and making a difference in the world with STEM – and these are the top factors that include career motivation in young girls!

But, girls can change the world and help people with STEM. And programs like SWENext DesignLab Providence are vital in the effort to change the perception of engineering and show girls that they can be engineers too.

SWENext DesignLab Providence is divided into two parts: the Middle School Girls Program (grades 6-8) and the Parent /Educator Program (PEP).

At the Middle School Girls Program, attendees will engage in STEM activities and hear more about the different types of engineering jobs and how they can make a difference in the world as an engineer. They’ll meet women engineers from the Society of Women Engineers and learn about what they do. Girls’ siblings are welcome to come to the event, too.

At the PEP program, parents and teachers will also engage in engineering activities and learn how they can further encourage their girls and students to pursue their interests in STEM. Parents and teachers are top influencers in career motivation in young girls, making them crucial to encouraging more girls to pursue engineering.

All attendees will receive local resources including information on camps, competitions, scholarships and more. The cost of the girls’ programs is $7, and the cost of the PEP program is $5. Register Here.








The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. The not-for-profit educational and service organization is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. To ensure SWE members reach their full potential as engineers and leaders, the Society offers unique opportunities to network, provides professional development, shapes public policy and provides recognition for the life-changing contributions and achievements of women engineers. As a champion of diversity, SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in their personal and professional lives. For more information about the Society, please visit www.swe.org or call 312.596.5223.

SWENext DesignLab also features two awards opportunities for Providence high schoolers. The SWENext Local Innovator Awards Program recognizes the outstanding young women shaping the future of SWE by developing an engineering identity in themselves and others. The SWENext Northrop Grumman High School Community Award Program encourages students to use STEM to solve real-world problems and make a difference in the Providence community.

“You can’t be what you can’t see. SWENext DesignLab shows girls that they can change the world with engineering,” said Randy Freedman, Director of Student Programs at SWE. “SWENext DesignLab in Providence is one of five local outreach events the Society of Women Engineers is hosting across the country in 2018. SWENext DesignLab is an important part of the effort to close the gender gap in STEM and retain more women in these positions.”

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Tracy was born and raised in Southeastern Massachusetts and currently resides about 15 minutes outside of Providence with her husband and their three children, Max (2012), Ryder (2014), and Lily (2017). As a mother, she has dabbled in various parenting philosophies, and after attempting everything from free range to helicopter, she's landed squarely in the camp of "I'll do whatever it takes to make the noise stop." In all seriousness, Tracy believes that the key to happily surviving parenthood is grace. Whenever possible it should be given generously to our children, our spouses, and especially ourselves. Tracy has spent her career working with mothers and children in various capacities. She has a private therapy practice, is an Infant Massage Instructor, and works in Early Intervention. She has learned that one of things that children need most is well supported parents, and she believes that the candid sharing of stories and experiences is an important way of supporting parents. When she's not at work, Tracy spends her days trying to get outside, writing, and searching for her patience at the bottom of a (reheated) cup of coffee. She is an avid runner, and she loves to cook, obsessively organize, and drink wine.