Extracting DNA from a strawberry, mixing chemicals, creating a volcanic eruption, tracking turtles in Forest Park, and learning how to evaluate and care for athletes were just a few of the topics presented by female scientists during “Expanding Your Horizons,” a STEM conference for girls held March 13 at Florissant Valley Community College. The focus of the conference was to engage young women in experiences to spark an interest in STEM activities and careers—and our Seventh and Eighth Class girls were receptive to the message!
The keynote speaker highlighted the need for women in STEM fields and encouraged young women to develop 21st century skills of collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, communication and coding. She encouraged the girls to be problem solvers, to invest in themselves, to step up and get involved, to challenge themselves and to not be afraid. Hands-on workshops conducted by St. Louis area scientists followed.
The highlight for many was the opportunity to meet and hear from women who currently have STEM careers in engineering and medicine at companies such as Boeing, Monsanto, Mallinckrodt and St. Louis University. Their advice—continue to take math and science classes, find a passion and never give up!
One of our students, Summer, was inspired and empowered by this field trip. “My favorite part was listening to the women share their stories about how they got to where they are today.”
Faith added, “I learned many things that inspired me to become part of a STEM job. Up till now I never even considered a STEM job, now I am very interested.”