The inaugural conference for Girls in STEM was held on May 29 at IUPUI. More than 100 high school girls from 10 Midwestern states attended with the goal to be inspired to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics in college and pursue a STEM career.
The conference was organized by the Mid-America Association of Education Opportunity Program Personnel, with assistance from the IU School of Informatics and Computing, the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, the School of Science, TRIO/Upward Bound office and the Office for Women at IUPUI.
The association is a consortium of professionals from the TRIO and Educational Opportunity Programs that was formed to help level the playing field of educational opportunity for first-generation, low-income and disabled students.
The 135 girls from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin attended the three-day Stem Pre-College Student Leadership Conference.
During the conference, the girls were able to:
- Engage in hands-on activities in laboratory settings;
- Learn about colleges, college majors and careers;
- Meet with college students, professors and professional women;
- Tour the Schools of Informatics and Computing, Engineering and Technology and Science.
- Participate in critical thinking and discussion exercises;
- Hear from motivational speakers.
According to the association, the need for such a conference is clear. It cites the U.S. News and World Report which said only 13 percent of girls say they plan to pursue a STEM career.
If the U.S. is to stay competitive in the global market, the number of women in STEM fields must be increased, the association said.
For conference questions, contact the Girls in STEM Conference co-chairs Roxanne Gregg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-278-1925 or Misty Williams at WilliamsM332@morainevalley.edu or 708-608-4141