San Jose Students and Faculty Create Webisodes to Benefit STEM Education

Instructor George Retelas and students from SAE Institute San Jose have teamed up with middle schoolers to create a multi-media project for EngineerGirl to benefit science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. EngineerGirl is a non-profit service of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

The project was the culmination of over 2 years of planning, countless extracurricular production hours, and the participation of dozens of students from Motion & Graphic Design, Digital Filmmaking, Interactive Audio, and Game Art & Design programs. 10 female middle schoolers with interest in STEM education were chosen as finalists from auditions held at the SAE Institute San Jose campus. They served as correspondents on the project, interviewing outstanding women working in engineering.

“The idea of the project was to work with a non-profit organization to showcase women in STEM. We chose engineering because there is still a lot of misconception about that field of study where women are still a minority. We thought it would be interesting for girls to hear from women engineers about the exciting opportunities that engineering presents for them in the field of STEM education,” says George Retelas.

Students had the opportunity to work directly with several major companies including Disney Pixar, Ford Research & Innovation Centers, GE Ventures, NASA, and others in creating 18 short interview-style videos for the EngineerGirl website. Each video features women working in several areas of engineering, as well as two women from the original “Rosie the Riveter” campaign about women engineers produced during World War II.

The project also allowed students to practice their project management and marketing skills in addition to their audio, music production, and video editing skills, all while bringing attention to the engineering opportunities available to women.

Retelas says, “This is a project we are extremely proud of and one that will resonate with our students for years to come. Not only did it provide students with practical experience, it offered them invaluable opportunities to meet and learn about these impressive engineers.” Working on the project was a fantastic experience for everyone — students, parents and professionals.
“It was an honor to be given the chance to score the music for EngineerGirl,” says Cristian Muñoz, a student of the Interactive Audio program.

“Working on EngineerGirl was a great experience! Not only was it fun creating the music but I learned so much about these amazing engineers,” says J.P Esquivel, also studying in the Interactive Audio program.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, these inspiring videos will be launched throughout the month of March from the National Academy of Engineering on Twitter @EngineerGirlNAE, and can also be viewed on YouTube searching #EngineerGirlShow. The #EngineerGirlShow project aims to inspire young girls to consider a career in engineering.

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