Back to Campus!
In the Fall of 2021, the Engineers Without Borders – The University of Texas at Arlington (EWB-UTA) chapter was able to meet new students in activity fairs and host in-person events. Along with events the chapter held in-person General Body Meetings (GBMs), connected with the EWB North Texas professional chapter and helped with their Bolivia water project. The chapter met with EWB professionals who are now mentoring the chapter towards the chapter’s first international project!
Trash Bash: The first event the chapter participated in this fall, was the annual Trash Bash that is put on by Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) to clean along the Trinity River. A team of EWB – UTA students walked Quanah Parker Park and collected bags full of litter.
Habitat for Humanity: The chapter worked with Habitat for Humanity three times during the fall semester! The first was the Cowtown Brush Up which is a single day event where 50 houses are brightened up with a fresh coat of paint. A majority of the residents of these houses are elderly and have a fixed income. Over ten students showed up for the event and did quick work of painting up the house. The other two events with Habitat for Humanity were build days where a team of around ten students volunteered at each event to put up siding on a house that Habitat for Humanity was building for a new home owner. These events are always hard work, but the students get to get their hands dirty and help out while sharing the experience with each other!
Bag Weaving: The chapter reached out to Sarah’s Bag Ladies to see how we could help. They are a group who collect plastic bags and repurpose them by weaving them into mats for homeless people to sleep on. As a chapter we collected plastic bags and hosted an event to cut the bags and begin the weaving process. We did what we could in three hours and delivered the bags and started mats to Sarah’s Bag Ladies. It was a learning curve to weave the bags, but it was a lot of fun! At this event Sadie Kleman from Engineers In Action (EIA) presented to us about her internship with EIA. Talking with Sadie got the chapter excited about international community projects.
Three GBMs were hosted on campus happening on the third Monday of each month. During the first meeting we presented what EWB is all about and had a project where all of the students were able to create a water filter using just a coffee filter, sand, cotton balls and rocks. The filters can be seen in pictures below. We all had a good time trying to make the dirty water as clean as possible. At the second GBM, Matt Craig from North Texas visited and presented on the Bolivia water project that the North Texas Professional Chapter is actively working on. The student chapter was able to see what a project looks like and the effect it can have on a community. A Red Cross representative spoke at the final GBM of the semester on the Red Cross Disaster team and the work that the team does for communities world wide. At the end of the semester EWB-UTA hosted an End of the Year Social and played games and got to celebrate the end of the semester!
EWB North Texas and Mentors
This fall the leadership of EWB-UTA attended EWB North Texas Professional Chapter (EWB-NTX) meetings to learn about the chapter and connect with the professionals. The professionals were a great help to the chapter and suggested ways for the student chapter to get more involved.The student chapter was able to help confirm some calculations and create a drawing for EWB-NTX’s community in Bolivia. This was a wonderful opportunity for the students to be part of the design stage of the project. At the bag weaving event, Matt Craig connected the student chapter with Sadie Kleman who presented to EWB-UTA about Engineers In Action. After listening to Sadie’s presentation, we asked her if she would be willing to mentor our student chapter. She agreed and has been very helpful in encouraging the team to take the next step searching for an international project. Below is a picture of some of us at the North Texas winter social.
With help from Sadie and EWB-NTX, the chapter leadership has been looking at international projects and plans to vote on a project in the spring and have an application submitted for a project by the end of the spring semester! We are looking forward to beginning the journey of working with an international community.
The EWB-UTA 2021-2022 Officer Team