EA Blog

Fun Articles

GEMS 2019

Joan Brown

2 February 2019


EAs in polos en route to the suburbs
Mass over volume and density columns
Lava lamp science to take home and play
These are a few of my favorite things!

Rhyming schemes was never my forte.

Outreach is a big part of the EA mission, and earlier this February we took our passion to Hoffman Estates for the Girls in Engineering, Math & Science Conference (GEMS) 2019! Nine of our incredible ladies in EA, two advisors, and one mentor hopped on a van at 4:30am to share the love and introduce over 130 4th and 5th grade and 20 high school girls to STEM.

Two main parts of the conference was a career fair and hands-on activities. During the career fair, our ambassadors talked about the STEM field with a fun demo of conductive Playdoh. Many girls may even join us for summer camps held at U of I- one of us, one of us!

Meanwhile, the lab was prepped for some groovy science. Using density and a touch of chemistry, girls learned how to recreate the rising and falling colorful bubbles in lava lamps. The final countdown to dropping an alka seltzer tab in layers of glitter, water, oil, food coloring, and a glow stick filled the room with oohs and aahs! Goodie bags with an extra seltzer tab to go and a coloring book for "Women and Ideas in Engineering" let them repeat the experiment and learn more about inspiring women in engineering too!

Actively supporting diversity and inclusion in STEM brings valuable perspectives, ideas, and backgrounds to the table. Our ambassadors loved the opportunity to talk with girls about their interests and the incredible breadth of engineering; we hope to see some of them this summer and years from now making waves!

EA Goes to Curtis!

Jessica Austriaco

15 October 2018


Team bonding is an important part of the workplace, and it’s no different for EA! Social events are important to our Ambassadors because we learn about each others’ strengths and weaknesses, learn how we can support each other better, and align our goals and energy with our mission.

Last weekend, Engineering Ambassadors took a trip to Curtis Orchard, a campus favorite for its plethora of activities. From apple picking to friendly goats to pumpkin patches, Engineering Ambassadors was able to spend quality time engaging in the season’s activities.

The crisp weather made it great for outdoor games too! As most of our members are on a student budget, we were able to get creative with how we spent our time outside by playing classic group games like the Circle Game and King Elephant. Group games and a sprinkling of competition are a great way for your team to get to know each other. Also, who doesn’t love a chance for a win and some bragging rights?

When you’re able to smile with the people you work with, you gain an appreciation for one another. When we communicate in a relaxed setting, communication in the professional setting becomes smoother and more productive. Our advisors and mentors were also included in the festivities, and we’re hoping they enjoyed the cider as much as we did!

Our Ambassadors reflect on the importance of social bonding events, like Curtis:

Socials like Curtis Orchard are amazing. Not only did I get to enjoy amazing foods like apple donuts, but I was able to get to know people outside of the classroom setting.
– Raymundo Muro-Barrios
Curtis was a casual, low stress event that gave EAs a chance to bond and have fun outside of class. It gave us a chance to get to get to know each other which will make classroom visits easier to plan and execute because of a pre-established rappor.
– Jess Cook
The EA social at Curtis Orchard was a great time in that I got to bond with my fellow ambassadors while enjoying a timeless fall activity. I think EA should continue doing socials so that we can all spend more time connecting with one another in not just an academic setting and building a sense of unity as an organization.
– Connor Chu
The Curtis Apple Orchard was a refreshing outdoor experience to get to know other EAs. We only meet for an hour every week, and socials are a great way to strengthen relationships within the organization.
– Yoshi Koyake
Social activities allow us to bond and get to know each other in a more relaxed environment. This inspires us to grow on a personal level and become better teammates for one another.
– Eugenia Maldonado
Socials are great because you get to spend quality time with people that you usually wouldn’t because you don’t have to focus on engineering ambassadors you can just hang out and do whatever you want. I had never been to Curtis before but I had heard really good things, and everything we did there was super fun. I loved perusing the store and checking out all the jams and decorations they had, the apple donuts and cider were primo, and just overall I already love engineering ambassadors and everyone involved so being able to hang out with them in our free time was awesome. Furthermore, we got to go to a pop up record shop and thrift store and also wait out a monsoon-level storm, and that’s something I’ll never forget because we got to experience it together!
– Max Asselmeier

Personally, my favorite part of Curtis is the ability to bond over a sweet apple donut.

Our next social event is a pumpkin carving night. Hopefully, we’ll have a safe and spooky time continuing to network and grow our special EA family bond.