STEM conference aims to interest more girls to the field
KANEOHE, Hawaii - A one day seminar in Kaneohe aims to get more girls interested in science, technology, math, and engineering careers- or STEM, for short. About 85 girls in the sixth to ninth grades attended Tech Savvy today at Hawaii Pacific University's Hawaii Loa campus.
The girls attended seminars such as, "A Healthier Planet Care of Worms", "Scalpel Stat!" and "What lies beneath? Simulating Mapping of the Ocean Floor". The second half of the day focused on "savvy skills," or skills they can use in their everyday life. These classes include "Be Your Own #GirlBoss" and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"
The event was organized by AAUW Honolulu, which says women are underrepresented in STEM fields. Dawn Robertson, Tech Savvy curriculum director, explains, "There are studies that show possible gender bias as to why there are less women in STEM so we're trying to get them to see the things that STEM can do and the fun things about STEM."
U.S. Labor Department figures show there's a shortage of STEM professionals to fill critical jobs.
Representatives from colleges and groups including Hawaii Pacific University, the John A. Burns School of Medicine, HawaiiKids CAN, Leeward Community College, University of Notre Dame, Temple Japan Program, Wellesley College, Women in Technology STEMworks, the Girl Scouts and the UH Manoa College of Natural Sciences were on hand.
Sponsors include AAUW Honolulu Branch, Hawaii Pacific University, Hawaiian Electric, Wellesley College, Microsoft and the Pacific Aviation Museum.