Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 2:38 pm | Fair 76º


Upper Hand to College to Host STEM Conference for Girls

Local education firm Upper Hand to College will host a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference for girls in grades 6 to 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at the UCSB campus.

The conference will offer a fun, inspiring and motivational day, geared toward increasing the number of women in STEM fields. The conference will feature keynote speaker Dr. Anita Sengupta, a NASA scientist who worked on the Mars Curiosity Rover.

Few girls are pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields. A recent Girl Scout Research Institute study found that 17 percent of high school girls are interested in STEM fields, yet women account for only 20 percent of the bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science and physics. Furthermore, while women make up nearly 50 percent of the U.S. workforce, they hold less than 25 percent of the jobs in STEM.

“We want to help increase the number of women seeking careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields,” said Naiyma Houston, founder and director of Upper Hand to College. “We invite all girls, grades 6 to 12, to join us for this inspiring and fun-filled day to learn about the variety of career opportunities in STEM fields and meet and connect with female role models.”

Girls attending the conference will:

» Engage in hands-on activities and seminars

» Become aware of the wide variety of career opportunities in technology, science and engineering

» Gain a new enthusiasm for STEM

» Meet and connect with awesome female role models

» Learn the importance of taking classes in science, math and technology in middle school and high school

» Leave with the knowledge and understanding that women have the capability to be successful in the professions of science, technology and engineering

Each student will attend two workshops of their choice. Workshops include: Make Your Own Lip Balm; Build a Water Filter; Fun with Polymers; Create a Prosthetic Hand Model; Create Your Own Hand Sanitizer; Challenge Your Design Skills; Hair Dryer Dissection; Design a Hot Air Balloon; Aquarium Visit; and Campus Tour of UCSB. A description of each workshop is available on the conference registration form.

Upon completion of the day’s workshops, participants will earn a Certificate of Participation from the 2012 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Conference.

The conference will also feature a separate track of workshops for parents, teachers and counselors where participants will learn why a STEM education is especially valuable for girls and how to best prepare girls for a STEM education in high school and college. Parents have the opportunity to participate in a Parent Academic Coaching session with Robin McDougal, M.Ed, author of The Pearl Project, and What Color is Your Thinking?

To register for the conference, click here or call 805.984.2656. The cost to register for students is $20, and $25 for parents, teachers and counselors.

The economic future of California and the United States depends on developing a diverse and robust STEM workforce. Currently in the United States there are 3 million unfilled jobs that require STEM skills. Over the next 10 years it is projected that STEM jobs will grow 17 percent compared with 9.8 percent for non-STEM jobs.

— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing Upper Hand to College.

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