News from the STEM Office
Girls-Only STEM Day
Posted on: March 03, 2014 08:00 EST by Sarah Durkin
The USNA STEM Office hosted a Girls-Only STEM Day on Saturday, March 1, 2014, as part of an on-going effort to encourage young women to pursue education and careers in STEM. The event consisted of a full day of hands-on workshops for middle school girls on-site at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
250 middle school girls of diverse backgrounds from Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware attended. In the morning, students participated in a wide range of interactive activities including: Astronomy, Biomedical Engineering, Biometrics, Bioterrorism, Bridge Building, Flight, Hydraulics, Physics, Robotics, and Rockets. After lunch, students worked in teams on an engineering design challenge in which they competed to create a vehicle to deliver "food aid" to a simulated island nation in "Girlandia".
While the students were engaged in science experiments and engineering challenges, their parents had the opportunity to attend a workshop targeted at raising a girl in today's competitive world. Topics included "Raising the Whole Girl", Nutrition, College Costs, Leadership, and a discussion on "What's so great about a STEM Education?".
Activities for the day were led by 16 female faculty/staff members and 32 midshipmen. The event aimed to encourage young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math by not only providing engaging activities, but also by giving them the opportunity to interact with women, both civilian and Navy, who are leaders and role models in these fields. As practicing scientists and engineers, the women facilitating the activities were able to introduce students to STEM careers and present real-life applications, while also guiding students through hands-on experiments and engineering design activities.
The middle-school girls who attended became actual scientists, engineers, and technologists for the day. At the end of the day, motivated by the activities they participated in and the inspiring women they met, each girl finished the statement, "I want to be..." and imagined a future where anything is possible.