Girls attend ‘Women in Science’ conference
Published: Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Over 60 female students in grades sixth and eighth attended this year’s Women in Science conference held at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) in Rapid City. This conference is sponsored by Youth in Science Rapid City, Inc. The Agenda for the day stated, “Women in Science is a free, one-day career learning workshop designed to provide young women in grades 6-12 with engaging opportunities to learn about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).”
Custer students joined 16 other schools in attendance. Custer Elementary science and math teacher Kim Webster and junior high science teacher, Mechell Powers and parent volunteers escorted students to this special event. speakers included a geneticist, architect, geologist, a National Park Service representative, education technician, nursing, geology professor, dental surgeon, mathematics professor, science educator, Veterinarian, chemistry professor, physics professor, chiropractor, mechanical engineer, nurse practitioner, fire management officer, civil engineer, research associate, chemist and environmental lab tech, meteorologist, service hydrologist and ecologist botanist. Women, who have careers in all of these fields, inspired the students to consider continuing education and careers in the fields they represented so passionately.
Several students noted how excited they were to be on a college campus and see all the opportunities for women in the fields of math and science. One student noted that she “learned the trouble some women had to go through to be a scientist, but women can be great scientists, just like men!” Another student noted that, “I learned that popping your knuckles doesn’t give you arthritis.” One student wrote it really inspired her and she loved it. Another wrote that surprisingly the lectures weren’t “at all boring.”
Students also loved all the hands on sessions that they attended. They were able to participate in many experiments and learn about things such as tornadoes, building bridges and dams. At the dentistry session, students had to run in place for two minutes to dramatize how long you should be brushing your teeth for. One student noted that, “it felt like I was running in place for at least five minutes!”
Each presenter was asked for “Words of Wisdom” to be place in the program that each girl received to tell them about all the presentations.
Lu Heibel, science educator. quoted Margaret Mead, saying, “I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings.”
Serena Heig, DVM encouraged the girls with this statement, “Never allow someone to convince you that you can’t achieve your dreams. Surround yourself with good and positive people. Above all, love and respect yourself enough to try whatever it is you want to do”.
Finally, Jo Prang, pharmacist, encouraged the girls with her favorite quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
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