Science is for girls: UTSA hosts girls in grades 6-8 at STEM careers workshop

Science Woman

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(Jan. 29, 2010)--This Saturday, women scientists from the San Antonio area will gather at the UTSA Main Campus to speak with 400 girls in the sixth through eighth grades about how fun science careers can be. One of 11 planned for this year in Texas, the outreach events will encourage girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by introducing them to successful female scientists in small-group settings.

This year's guest scientists represent professionals in education, industry, health care, government and the military. Included are a veterinarian, a computational chemist, a registered nurse, an engineer, a plant biologist, a vision scientist, an automotive engineer and others.

"Our goal in offering this conference is to get the girls to take as many math and science courses as they can so they maximize their options following high school," said Betty Travis, UTSA professor of mathematics and chair of the conference. "By meeting scientists and others who work in STEM related professions, the girls should walk away understanding that science careers are both attainable and rewarding. We want them to go home thinking, 'That's cool. I can do that.'"

The UTSA Expanding Your Horizons event begins at 8:45 a.m. with a welcome from George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences. Mary Pat Moyer, CEO and chief science officer of Incell Corp., a woman-owned San Antonio biopharmaceutical manufacturer and services company, will deliver the keynote address.

For the remainder of the day, the girls will attend 90-minute workshops presented by women who use science, technology, engineering and mathematics in their daily work. Workshop topics will include:

  • "Fun with Belugas, The Inside Scoop About Working With Marine Mammals," presented by Heather Hill, St. Mary's University
  • "Electricity: A Shocking Reality," presented by Vanessa Lopez, Lackland Air Force Base
  • "Does the Flu Virus Oink?" presented by Judy Teale, UTSA
  • "Robots, Risks and Candy," presented by Crystal Parrott, Southwest Research Institute
  • "What Does It Mean to Be A Cardiovascular Biologist?" presented by Merry Lindsey, UT Health Science Center
  • "E-Shopping: How Does It Work?" presented by Sarah Murillo, Valero Energy Corp.