This is the 5th year that the American Society of Civil Engineers Los Angeles Younger Member Forum (ASCE LA YMF) has hosted events in honor of National Engineers Week, and every year is better than the last! This year a few changes were made to Ladies Day; after two fun, fantastic years at the Los Angeles Zoo, Ladies day moved back to Los Angeles' City Hall. Leading up to the event Christina Becerra-Jones (2018 Ladies Day Lead from LA Sanitation) met with students and teachers from the selected schools, engaging them on the topic of engineering.
So after months of preparation it was show time! One hundred young ladies from age 12 to 16 were welcomed to City Hall on Thursday, February 22, 2018. This year the following schools/programs participated: Sacred Heart High School, DIY Girls, Roy Romer Middle School, Holy Family High School, and Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) program. Students traveled from as nearby as 3 miles to as far away as 70 miles (one-way) arriving early to the event excited and ready to learn about engineering. While waiting for the day to commence they spent the time exploring the beautiful vistas from the top of City Hall.
Brief introductions were made by Monica Morales (2018 Engineers Week Chair of JACOBS) and Christina, followed by a thought provoking presentation by ASCE National President Kristina Swallow. She showed the students how much of a difference one person can make in the world when they are motivated and passionate. Next, Councilmember Paul Krekorian welcomed everyone to City Hall and told them a brief history of the building, reminding everyone that Los Angeles is a diverse and dynamic place to live and work and that we need that same diversity reflected in STEM industry. Councilmember Krekorian and his staff were instrumental in the success of the day by providing event sponsorship and assistance with planning for Ladies Day. A new addition this year was to have a presentation from students. The students in the DIY Girls program at San Fernando High School presented their air filtration projects to some of the younger students, meanwhile other students got started on their engineering activities. Volunteers at the event guided students through the hands-on engineering activities including building a foil boat that could hold the most weight and not sink, and engineering a mechanism to softly land an outer-space planetary shuttle.
The winners of the Ladies Day Essay Contest include three students from Holy Family High School with 1st Place to Leanorine Lorenzana, 2nd Place to Erika Consebido and 3rd Place to Natalie Contrera! Congratulations ladies on your scholarship prize awards for your thought provoking essays on engineering!
The successes of Ladies Day 2018 would not have been accomplished without the dedication of the 20 volunteers, Council District 2, Council District 4, all the teachers that participated in the event with their students and all the Engineers Week Sponsors. A special thank you goes to CH2M Now JACOBS for sponsoring Ladies Day, as well as LA Sanitation for supporting the committee’s work to encourage women to gain professional advancement in the STEM field and become our future leaders.