AAUW State College is committed to promoting interest and achievement among girls and women in the STEM areas—science, technology, engineering, and math. We are involved in several STEM initiatives, partnering with many campus and community groups to conduct STEM programs for women and girls. Despite the pandemic, the AAUW STEM Committee is active, connecting monthly and working with Penn State faculty, staff, and students, Discovery Space educators, local school district officials, and local business and community members to provide virtual STEM experiences to Centre County girls in K-12 and higher education.
Earlier this school year, Discovery Space hosted several sessions of STEMPOWERED, virtual after-school programs for fifth-grade girls, showcasing careers in STEM and connecting the participants with female STEM professionals who work in their community.
The Penn State Graduate Women in Science hosted a virtual Young Women in STEM program over Thanksgiving break and were able to reach girls in grades 5-10 from three states. Coming up in February, they will host their annual Empower conference. Penn State’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) has just begun a six-year NSF-funded partnership with Discovery Space to create a series of hands-on activities and an
interactive website that will be shared with children in science center programs, public events, and school classrooms across the region. The project is called Mission: Materials Science.
Penn State’s Office of Science Outreach will host their annual ENVISION: STEM Career Day
Supporting Young Women on March 20, 2021 for 6th-12th graders, virtually. A second event, the I AM STEM competition, is open to Penn State women students in the Eberly College of Science. The event identifies and showcases their STEM talents and provides an avenue for practicing their communication skills. Early in 2021, summer science camps also will be announced in early 2021 by Discovery Space and Science-U.
Whether funding STEM projects or providing leadership and volunteers, AAUW State College is integral to providing STEM activities for women and girls in our community. In the coming months, AAUW State College STEM volunteers, in partnership with others, will facilitate virtual after-school programs in State College and Bellefonte School Districts for middle-school girls.
For more information about any of our STEM programs or to join the STEM Committee, contact mailto:Michele@DiscoverySpace.org.
AAUW State College STEM endeavors are a vital part of branch activities. We have set January 12th as the deadline for book donations for our 2021 annual Used Book Sale. Proceeds from the sale fund our community STEM initiatives. Learn more about AAUW State College at our new website, www.aauwstatecollege.org.
--Michele Crowl, AAUW State College STEM Chair