Volunteers from the Women in Engineering (WIE) Affinity Group of the IEEE Atlanta Section displayed an interactive laser exhibit at the first-ever Pure Genius Expo hosted by the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. More than 1,000 girls, their families and adult leaders attended the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) event held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on 29 October 2011. The laser exhibit was a big hit, as the girls were able to create their own laser "light show," and examine the coherence of laser light and lens focusing properties.
Georgia Tech Research Institute developed the exhibits, and generously loaned them out, after providing training on their use. IEEE WIE and the Atlanta Section provided giveaway items and t-shirts for the volunteers who staffed the exhibit and helped introduce girls to engineering and lasers. The Girl Scouts plan to repeat this event next year at a larger venue, and expect an even larger turnout. The WIE volunteers all said it was a lot of fun, and they are looking forward to a repeat performance.
Cathy Freeman is the 2012 chair of the IEEE Atlanta Section Women in Engineering Affinity Group.