Regional Students Attend STEM Women in Science Event in Estherville

Thu 3-17-2016 ["Estherville"]

(Estherville)-One hundred seventy-four girls from Emmetsburg Middle School, Emmetsburg Catholic, Spirit Lake, Harris-Lake Park, Spencer, and Graettinger-Terril attended a free STEM – Women in Science event to learn about their place in the ever-changing world of STEM careers.

Spirit Lake Middle School Parents in Education (PIE) organized the event, alongside with Molly Faber, Northwest Iowa Regional STEM Manager, which focused on the impact that women have using science, technology, engineering and math in the workforce. These women were represented by presenters from a variety of fields. Their dynamic presentations introduced girls to the use of STEM both in fields that are traditionally viewed as STEM fields and those which are not.

Presentations, from a variety of businesses within the region, included: · Programming & Cyber Security – Dr. Ashely Podhradsky and Pam Rowland · Manufacturing & Google Glass – Peggy Gulick · Biomedical Engineering & 3D printing – Todd Woolston · Dietetics – Grace Phelon · Personal finance and the Stock Market – Anne and Peter Straus · Kinesiology & Personal Training – Kate Newey · Marketing – Jill Harms · Occupational Therapy – Amy Marlow · Merchandising – Laura Bjornstad · Dentistry – Dr. Kathryn Shriver

“In today’s culture, girls are losing interest in STEM at the middle school age,” stated Danielle Peterson, one of PIE’s organizers. “Events like this are meant to regain interest in education and to show that these particular fields are relevant in the world of STEM,” Peterson added.

"Events like this help the students to understand the kind of background needed in certain fields and at the same time it exposes them to new things and allows them to have a better understanding of the many possibilities in the world of STEM. “It is important for students to see that STEM is infused in everything we do,” stated Molly Faber, Northwest Iowa Regional STEM Manager for the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “Events like this one helps to cultivate that mindset. Some of the sessions on fashion merchandising, diet, or advertising may not sound like STEM but the young women partaking are seeing that there is just as much STEM taking place in these areas as they are in some of the other sessions like Cyber Security and Computer Programming,” Faber added.

Funds for this event come from the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Northwest Iowa Regional Hub and from Spirit Lake Middle School PIE.

Iowa Lakes Community College hosted the interactive sessions specifically for seventh and eighth grade girls at the Estherville campus on Wednesday, March 16.