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University Student Taught Engineering Program

Join SWE @ UVA for our Spring USTEP program!

USTEP Registration

Deadline

USTEP @ UVA

Spring 2024

Sunday
Feb 4

Confirmation 

Email Sent

Monday
Feb 5
Sunday
Feb 25
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Course Catalog

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USTEP Flyer

What

USTEP (University Student Taught Engineering Program) is a fun-filled, educational outreach program for middle school students in the local Charlottesville community. The event is hosted by the SWE chapter at the University of Virginia. Middle schoolers will be able to have a one of kind experience taking classes taught by passionate UVA Engineering students.​ Students will be able to take three classes they find interesting from our class catalog. 

Who

ALL middle school aged students, from 6th to 8th grade, are invited to register for USTEP. Our ultimate goal is for students to be inspired by college students and get excited about learning new things, in a fun and stress-free environment. We hope you are interested and join us in our third annual USTEP event this year!

Spring 2024 Course Catalog

  • A Knack for Problem-Solving: Use It!

    • ​​This session will take you through a set of fun and interactive problem-solving exercises. Think riddles,
      team-building activities, and other surprise challenges! At the end of the session—once you find your
      "knack" for problem-solving—we will tie everything together by discussing ways in which you can use
      your knack for bigger change

  • From Experiment to Data: Intro to MATLAB

    • In this session, you will be conducting a physics experiment, and learn to model an equation and collect
      and analyze data in MATLAB! We’ll start with doing a short but fun physics experiment where you’ll
      collect your own data, learn how to initialize variables and equations in MATLAB, and finally, we’ll plot
      the data and make graphs and try to figure out what it means! If you’re interested in doing your own
      science experiments and participating in science fairs, this is the perfect place to get started!

  • Are We Alone? The Search for Life in Our Solar System

    • Ever wonder if other planets in our solar system can support life? This class delves into the complex geochemistry that gives our planet its unique, life-supporting qualities. We’ll run through the history of
      organic life and work together to come up with criteria to look for on other planets. Bring your curiosity
      and get ready for a fun and informative interstellar adventure!

  • Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Missing Mango

    • Interested in logic games? Love solving mysteries? Join us on a puzzling journey to uncover one of
      Sherlock’s mysteries. Dive into the world of problem-solving techniques by helping Sherlock find the
      stolen mango! You will come up with creative solutions to several challenging scenarios and learn about
      some common algorithms used in computer science along the way. All you need is your creativity and
      your brain!

  • Breathe In, Breath Out

    • Are you ready to learn about the mechanisms of breathing? We will explore the respiratory system
      starting from your nose to your lungs. In this engaging class, we won't just talk about breathing, we'll
      bring it to life with the help of balloons. From inflating to deflating, you'll witness the magic of modeling
      your respiratory system. Bring your enthusiasm and curiosity as we delve into the fun world of lung
      mechanics with the help of balloons!

  • The Thrill of Roller Coaster Design

    • Have you ever ridden a roller coaster before? Do you love the thrill of riding up and down the hills? Have
      you ever wondered how they work? In this class, you will learn some of the simple physics principles
      behind roller coasters, as well as many of the design principles that engineers consider when creating
      these amazing rides! After this class, you will look at roller coasters with a new lens and greater
      understanding

  • Is the event open to all students...or just girls?
    Although USTEP is hosted by the Society of Women Engineers, this event is open to all students regardless of their gender identity.
  • Are parents/supervisors required to stay throughout the entirety of the event?
    Parents may drop-off their student at the beginning of the event. Classrooms will have several student volunteers assisting with lessons, so SWE will take care of everything!
  • How do I become a member?
    At this time, there is no formal process to become a member of the SWE chapter at the University of Virginia. Subscribing to the SWEekly newsletter and listerv will connect you to all of the outreach and professional development opportunities available to SWE members.
  • How much does it cost to become a SWE member?
    The SWE chapter at the University of Virginia does not collect dues from its members. ...
  • How long is the event?
    This event runs from 9:30am - 3pm.
  • Can parents attend? Do I have to stay with my child during the event?
    We are unable to accommodate parents during the actual event due to limited room capacities. Parents/Guardians drop off their student for the afternoon and pick them up at the end of the event. Prior to pickup, we will facilitate a brief, student-led panel where parents can ask questions about UVA's engineering program.
  • Does my child need to bring anything to the event?
    All materials will be provided. We will provide lunch and snacks. If you are concerned about dietary restrictions, please reach out to the event coordinators des2rm@virginia.edu and kas4ck@virginia.edu.
  • Who can apply?
    The Society of Women Engineers is dedicated to creating a safe, women-oriented space for everyone in engineering. We welcome anybody in grades 6 through 8 that wants to be in this space (i.e., female-identifying, genderqueer, and male-identifying individuals) to apply and attend our events. For students interested in events less geared towards a specific gender identification, please refer to our USTEP program.
  • Who runs this event?
    MSV is planned, organized, and run by the Society of Women Engineers at UVA, an independent club at the University consisting of current UVA Engineering students. Additionally, we have many UVA Engineering faculty and staff that help support our event and provide insight via talks, lab tours, and the majors fair.
  • How much does MSV cost?
    Thanks to our university and corporate sponsorships, MSV is free of cost for all our participants. This includes lunch and snacks that are provided throughout the day.
  • Where is the event held?
    This program is held at the University of Virginia in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Charlottesville, VA. The initial meeting place will be in Davis Commons in Rice Hall. Specific details and parking information will be sent out to participants approximately one week before the event.
  • When will information about this event be available?
    More information about this event will become available very soon! This is the first in-person SEED event SWE @ UVA has hosted in several years. The executive team is still working out the details to ensure that this Spring's event will be as safe (and fun) as possible.
  • Who can apply?
    The Society of Women Engineers is dedicated to creating a safe, women-oriented space for everyone in engineering. We welcome anybody in grades 9 through 12 that wants to be in this space (i.e., female-identifying, genderqueer, and male-identifying individuals) to apply and attend our events. For students interested in events less geared towards a specific gender identity, the UVA Engineering Spring Open House and the Center for Diversity in Engineering's Summer Bridge Program are open to all.
  • How old must I be to apply to HSV?
    HSV is specifically for high school aged students and is targeted at 11th and 12th graders as they work through the college selection process; however, 9th and 10th graders are welcome to apply. For middle school aged students, SWE @ UVA hosts Middle School Visitation and USTEP in the Fall and Spring, respectively.
  • Can parents attend the event?
    Parents are welcome and encouraged to stay for the first half of the event from roughly 9 am to 12 noon. During this time, we will have our Welcome Address and an Admissions Tour from the University Guide Service. Afterward, parents must depart. If you are looking for things to do around Charlottesville for the rest of the day, we recommend referring to https://www.visitcharlottesville.org/.
  • What transportation options are available to get to the event?
    Participants and their guardians are responsible for getting themselves to and from the event. HSV is held on "Grounds" at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. More details and directions will be provided in our acceptance packet. UVA Grounds is most accessible by car, and there are several free parking options nearby. Additionally, there is an Amtrak station 7 minutes away (by car) from the campus.
  • How long is the event?
    HSV is a day-long event running from roughly 9am to 8pm. Participants are able to leave early if they have scheduling conflicts, but this must be communicated to uvaswehsv@gmail.com prior to the day of the event.
  • Who runs this event?
    HSV is planned, organized, and run by the Society of Women Engineers at UVA, an independent club at the University consisting of current UVA Engineering students. Additionally, we have many UVA Engineering faculty and staff that help support our event and provide insight via talks, lab tours, and the majors fair.
  • How much does HSV cost?
    Thanks to our university and corporate sponsorships, HSV is free of cost for all our participants. This includes three meals and snacks that are provided throughout the day.
More Questions?

For additional information about the University Student Taught Engineering Program, please email:   sweustep@gmail.com.

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