8th Grade Girls Explore STEM Careers
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Nearly 760 8th grade girls and their teachers visited campus today for a Women in Science event at Southeast Tech. About 30 exhibitors presented technical career paths as well as 30 presenters (in science related occupations) who made half hour presentations. The day is structured so that each girl had the opportunity to hear at least five of the presentations and visit the exhibit room.
The Women in Science Conference is designed to promote a positive image and to stimulate interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers for young women. Women are historically underrepresented in science and math related fields. While women account for roughly half of the workforce, they hold less than 25% of jobs in these technological areas.
The forum is sponsored by the Women in Science organization which is dedicated to achieving equity and full participation for women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The objective is to make young women aware of the opportunities available to them and to encourage them to pursue the math and science classes necessary to prepare them for careers in these fields. One of the best ways to promote students interest is by establishing personal connections with professional women already accomplished in scientific and technological careers.
Young women participating in the Women in Science forum attend presentations by local doctors, veterinarians, pharmacists, zoologists, optometrists, dentists, nurses, ultrasound technologists, nutritionists, chemists, computer analysts, geographers, and engineers. They also browse through an exhibit area where they do hands on activities and talk one on one with women working in these areas.
The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the wide variety of jobs available in the math, science and technology fields. When seeds are planted, dreams are born, and goals can be established. By stimulating interest and providing local role models as mentors, incentive is added to continue taking the math and science courses that are necessary to prepare for careers in higher paying non-traditional fields.