Exposing girls to careers in STEM

2nd annual Science Technology Engineering and Math conference

POSTED: 05:59 PM MDT May 17, 2013 
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Middle school girls got a fascinating experience Friday. Bonneville District 93 partnered with Eastern Idaho Technical College for the second annual Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics conference.

Friday, girls took a break from the books and headed to the lab. In a workshop creatively called "Into The Heart of Babe," the young scientists are are dissecting a pig's heart.

"I really like doing science, and cutting things is fun," said eighth-grader Alexis Trojovsky.

The STEM program aims to expose young girls to fields usually dominated by men.

One hundred and thirty girls attended creative workshops during this daylong conference.

"'I scream, you scream we all scream for STEM cream,' where they took math and science and actually made ice cream. We had 'DNA Don't Lie,' they actually did examinations of DNA. 'Rock the House,' they built these little houses and put them on an earthquake simulator, " said the coordinator for The Center for New Direction at EITC, Eric Langley.

"We are building a house. We just kind of went for it and put triangles on it, because I know triangles are sturdy," said eighth-grader Holly Whiting.

"We'll shake it to simulate the different waves that are involved in earthquakes and the different forces at play so that they can see if their design is sound," said science teacher Mike Stansel.

Girls were given the opportunity to explore workshops ranging from architecture to robotics.

"So we are learning how gears work, so if you would move this one, then these two would be the followers," said seventh-grader Gisella Varela.

"I think math and science is highly respected in East Idaho, it's the main driver in our economy, and so it's not looked down upon it's actually lifted up," said Langley.

EITC plans to expand the conference and partner with other school districts next year.