Targeted STEM Leadership for Girls encouraged high school girls interested in STEM programs to become strong and powerful women in fields dominated by men.
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Leadership program on Feb. 10 was an all-day program targeted toward Conway High School girls in the 10th-12th grades.
The program was facilitated by the STEM department’s administrative assistant Angie Halvorson who said girls often lose interest in the STEM fields in middle school and they often think that they aren’t a good fit for a STEM field because they are female.
“We want the program to help them realize that yes, they can do this,” Holverson said.
The program featured female representatives from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, UCA, L’Oreal, CVS Pharmacy, NASA and the Air Force.
“What I’ve learned about being a woman in a STEM field is that you have to be credible or you’ll be forgotten; people won’t go to you for help. You just have to be humble and approachable.” Aircraft Maintenance Officer 1st Lt. Carissa Dobbins said. “Even though I work with mostly men I don’t try to act like them, I try to act like myself.”
Senior Master Sgt. Anngela Robinson said she didn’t have a strong woman to look up to as a child, and wanted to change that for girls today.
“I am the only woman in my workplace, and I don’t want other young women to be intimidated and to be stomped on because, what message does that send,” Robinson said.
Aj Clements is a sophomore at Conway High School, she wants to be a trauma surgeon or a neurosurgeon.
“I’m surprised that there aren’t many women in STEM, I think women are powerful and they get stuff done, but I also think they’re intimidated by men,” Clements said.
This is the program’s third year for Conway girls only. The program will be held again next month for high school girls in school districts throughout the state.
Image Courtesy of uca.edu