WEPAN's Knowledge Center: Share with and learn from others

i-f875c0b07d9b3cb6229668554781b35a-alice.jpgA couple of weeks ago, I "attended" a webinar hosted by WEPAN (Women in Engineering ProActive Network) on their recently unveiled Knowledge Center. I had never participated in a webinar -- I called up a conference call phone number, and logged into a website, and saw what the presenters had on their computers. Different presenters at totally different locations could also take charge of what everyone was seeing; it was a neat experience.

I was attending with participants from a few other organizations, including MentorNet, the Association of Science-Technology Centers (which is the professional society for organizations like science museums), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and a few WEPAN folks who maintain and assess the effectiveness of the Knowledge Center.

The Knowledge Center really is worth checking out, particularly because WEPAN has set up arrangements with some engineering organizations (such as ASEE) to provide content to WEPAN members that would otherwise be accessible only by (for example) ASEE members. So it opens up access to data in a useful way.

WEPAN is particularly proud of the way they have indexed their Knowledge Center information. They have both "topical terms" and "cross-cutting terms" that allow you to zone in quickly on the piece of information you need.

In addition, the Knowledge Center invokes the idea of "communities of practice" to host an login-based (although logins are free) internal professional community for practitioners and researchers. It makes use of many of the resources that other social networking platforms have, but focused on the topic of "women in engineering." I confess I already have too many community places online so I probably won't make too much of this feature, but we'll see.

Finally, you can add your own resource to the Knowledge Center. I think it gets vetted by the KC manager, but they do index blogs, so head off now and submit your blog, if you like.

WEPAN's main goal with this tool is bridging the divide between researchers who study gender and engineering, and those professional practice folks who are actually trying to do something in schools and universities to increase women's underrepresentation in these fields. However, while they have 600+ resources already preloaded, for the KC to really be effective, they really need is people to submit good quality content for all of us to share. I'm looking forward to sending in some submissions from my group, and to seeing what other researchers submit and can learn from practitioners.

More like this

I wasn't able to attend the WEPAN national conference this year, and I really missed going. So I was glad that Carol Muller of MentorNet wrote to the WEPAN listserv today with a mini-conference report/follow-up. She covered three topics: the plenary session tribute to Denice Denton; follow-up to…
Gleanings from my inbox, in lieu of something creative...I've had a stinking migraine every stinking day for the past week...Be sure to check out the info on the DuPont award - they've been handing it out since 1956. I know I just posted a previous entry maligning the awarding of prizes in general…
From the WEPAN listserv: The University of Washington has received a grant from the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program (grant SBE-0619159) to offer a series of national leadership workshops for science, engineering, and mathematics department chairs and emerging faculty leaders. These…
Jeff Knapp asked what kind of advice would I give to a 14-year-old girl who is showing an interest in neuroscience, taking AP classes, and has articulated an interest in science. As the "1" in the title indicates, I'll be posting again on this topic. I'm going to preface my remarks by saying that…

I have a book that I have written about basic electronics that is in cartoons - no formulas and is at a grade school reading level. I have described voltage, current, insulators, conductors, resistors, capacitors and inductors. I can describe diodes and transistors as well.

Does anyone have information on what publishers might be interested in this type of technical children's book? I have used it with adult students as well.

Susan

By Susan Crawford-Young (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink

I work for MentorNet, the online mentoring program with the mission to help women and underrepresented minorities succeed in Science and Technology. I participated on the WEPAN webinar and their Knowledge Center is excellent!

I see that you are a member of the MentorNet community, have you participated as a mentor or protege?