Invent It. Build It.


What Is Invent It. Build It.?

SWE is excited to bring our annual half-day student program — Invent It. Build It. (IIBI) — to Chicago!

One of the primary goals of SWE’s outreach activities is to expose girls to STEM and increase their awareness of what an engineer is. IIBI is an event that encourages girls to learn about engineering and pursue careers in the industry. The program offers hands-on engineering experiences for pre-college students, while parents and educators learn about engineering careers, scholarships, and resources. Through events like IIBI, SWE aims to help increase girls’ confidence in engineering-related skills.


Saturday, October 26, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT

  • 8:30 a.m. Doors Open
  • 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. SWENext Showcase & Light Breakfast With Role Models
  • 9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Kick-Off & Engineering Demonstration
  • 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Students: Hands-On Learning Activities
    Adults: Engineering Panel Discussion
  • 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Attendee Reunification & Dismissal

Event Location

McCormick Place Convention Center
West Building, First Floor
2310 E. Cermak Rd.
Chicago, IL 60616

Why Attend Invent It. Build It.?

Studies have shown that girls perform at similar levels as their male counterparts, but their confidence and interest in engineering and math decline between 11-13 years old. Why? A lack of support, resources, and programming designed to encourage their interest in STEM. The Invent It. Build It. (IIBI) program was created as a solution to this problem.

IIBI aims to build pre-college students’ confidence and interest in STEM by combining creativity, innovation, exploration through hands-on activities and firsthand learning from SWE members and their peers. This is achieved through a four-pronged approach:

SWENext Showcase & Role Model Mixer

Check out engineering and STEM outreach demos; learn about SWENext, our free membership for pre-college students; connect with local SWENext Clubs; and get to know SWE’s network of role model engineers.

Level 1 Program: STEM Exploring (Ages 10–13)

Get ready to get your hands dirty! Discover your STEM identity and level up your exploration of engineering and technology by expressing your creative and innovative sides. Participants will have an opportunity to engage and work with peers and real engineers through hands-on engineering activities that focus on an engineering discipline, skills-building, teamwork, and ingenuity.

Level 2 Program: STEM Engaged (Ages 14–18)

Step into the next level of your STEM journey! Engaged in STEM opportunities in your local community? Join this program for an elevated experience, putting problem-solving skills and engineering knowledge to work! Engage with real engineers and your peers in more challenging hands-on activities focused on an engineering discipline, skills-building, teamwork, and ingenuity.

Parent & STEM Advocate Program — Learn Best Practices as Advocates

Parents and educators play a crucial role in girls’ success in pursuing an engineering career. At this event, SWE highlights this village of support by providing resources to better advocate for girls in STEM. Parents/guardians and STEM advocates such as teachers, counselors, and administrators are encouraged to learn more from a panel of industry professionals and SWE member experts. Topics will include engineering career options, scholarships, college admissions, and available resources to prepare students for college.


Attendees will not only participate in STEM learning and engagement, but will also:

  • Enjoy a networking breakfast with SWE members and industry professionals.
  • Work on hands-on engineering activities.
  • Meet students, STEM advocates, SWE members, and engineers in the local community that you can continue engaging with after the event.
  • Participate in conversations with SWE members from around the world and learn how to navigate a career in a male-dominated field.Receive information on how to select the right
  • college, where to find scholarships, and how to be a successful engineer.
  • Get fun swag and other goodies!

In accordance with SWE’s Youth Protection Policy, all pre-college attendees under the age of 18 will need to be signed in and out of the event, so please plan accordingly for this process to ensure the safety of minors.

SWE has more opportunities available for students interested in STEM. Join SWENext to gain access to various programs, mentors, and resources designed to develop leadership skills and self-confidence to #BeThatEngineer. Although SWENext focuses on girls, all students are encouraged to get involved. Are you an adult advocate or educator? Find out ways you can participate and provide support by joining the community.

Questions? Please email us at [email protected].

October 24-26, McCormick Place, Chicago Illinois

Sponsors & Partners

Together We Rise