Girls Expand Their Horizons at St. Mary’s College STEM Conference

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Girls Expand Their Horizons at St. Mary’s College STEM Conference

Photo caption: Building Bridges: Girls tested their engineering knowledge by seeing how much weight their suspension bridges could support.

Article by AAUW-OML Branch Member Marty Schimbor

One hundred twenty-five (125) middle school girls, 40 parents, and a host of AAUW-OML and Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary Club volunteers, former Tech-Trekkers, and Saint Mary's College students spent Saturday, March 19 learning about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) at Saint Mary's College, Moraga, CA.
After an inspiring keynote address by Pixar's Director of Photography for Lighting Danielle Feinberg, students participated in twelve workshops on FBI crime scene technology, bridge building, hands-on computers, vacuums, computer coding, and I pad videos. In the closing session, M J Marggraff talked about her career in aviation, space exploration and robotics.

At the end of the day, students commented on the day in their evaluations:

"I liked seeing how passionate the speakers and professors were about their jobs."
"The FBI workshop was amazing and so was the Pixar speaker"
"I loved coding Star Wars!"
"I loved the speakers. They really showed how important it is to stick with what you love."
"Meeting amazing women who havegreat careers that include math and science"
"I lovedlearning and meeting new people. I also like the pen and the brownie."
"The hands-on computers because it was just so handson and I actually got to take the computer apart."

OML member Stacia Cragholm said she felt badly that the OML branch could only send six students to the Stanford Tech Trek program each summer, so in conjunction with OML branch member Heidi Mayer, Saint Mary's Adjunct Math and Science Computer Professor Kristen Beck, and Roy Wensley, Dean of Saint Mary's School of Science, she undertook the task of organizing an Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Conference. The Conference was highly successful!

EYH is a national organization whose goal is to promote STEM by holding conferences for middle school girls at local colleges. There are over 100 conferences nation-wide. Conference co-sponsors included Chevron and Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary among others. For more information, visit the AAUW-OML website:


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