Upcoming Service Events

Carnegie Science Center Engineering Week

Every year during National Engineer Week the Carnegie Science Center holds a special two day event to introduce children and teenagers to engineering. Companies and organizations from around Pittsburgh are invited to attend and share something with the community. The Pitt SWE Section is proud to help the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers make a great display.

The display is meant to teach children about Newton's third law of motion. All engineers inherently know that this is the law stating that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. However, for anyone not as versed in the physical sciences the basis behind this law can be shown through a rocket launch. The rocket is in a vertical position and the engines start up as the clock counts down from 10..9..8.., and when the countdown finally hits 1 the engines ignite and a large burst of flames is expelled out of the bottom of the rocket. Along with these flames, smoke and gases provide a giant force that pushes on the earth. As this force pushes down an opposite and equal force pushes the rocket up, up and away!

Unfortunately, the Society of Women Engineers budget is not grand enough for an actual rocket launch. Instead Newton's third law of motion is demonstrated through balloon rockets. This more simplistic version of a rocket is a balloon connected to a paper airplane. The "launch pad" is just string attached to a stable object and both ends with a straw on it. The rocket is attached to the straw at the launch pad and then the child releases the air from the balloon. This air release shoots the rocket in the opposite direction demonstrating the third law of motion. Also adding a bit of excitement is setting two launch pads side by side and letting the rockets race!

For more information or detailed instructions for this project go to: Sciencebob.com

Habitat for Humanity

The University of Pittsburgh's SWE chapter has teamed up Pitt's Habitat for Humanity chapter to help "eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action." Our members took a Saturday out of their schedule to help renovate a local church. This church has been under construction for over 3 years now and the basement has just been opened for after school programs. The church re-opening is a huge accomplishment, but renovations on the entire building are only partially complete. Pitt SWE plans to return once a semester to help finish the construction and will continue the partnership after completion of the church renovations.

Global Links

Pitt SWE is honored to be a helpful part of the Global Links project. Members of Pitt SWE traveled to a local warehouse to help prepare gently and unused medical supplies to be shipped to countries in need.
Girls cleaned IV stands and bed frames that were donated from local hospitals.
Girls separated medical supplies according to expiration date and type so multiple hospitals in less fortunate countries can receive good supplies.

"Global Links recovers unused medical supplies, surplus equipment and furnishings from the U.S. healthcare system for distribution to hospitals and clinics that serve the poorest segments of the population in developing countries.

Even more important than the volume of goods [Global Links] ship is the care [Global Links] take to send recipients only items they can readily use. Volunteers and staff spend hours sorting and processing donated materials. Hospital furnishings are cleaned and repaired, or refinished if necessary, to give these items a second life."

To learn more information about Global Links visit their website!

Annual Blood Drive

During the Fall semester SWE holds an annual Blood Drive for the Central Blood Bank. The Central Blood Bank is a non-for-profit organization that was established to serve the transfusion needs of Pittsburgh area hospitals. One volunteer blood donor could save up to approximately 12 lives in a year. The Central Blood Bank sets up in the lobby of the Swanson School of Engineering's Benedum Hall which is convenient for engineering students to donate between classes.