Lady Stemmers take on the Girls in STEM Conference at Central Michigan University

To create pathways for high school girls interested in STEM, the Educational Opportunity Association (EOA) hosted its 3rd Annual Girls in STEM Conference in an effort to address the underrepresentation of women in STEM-based industries. Packed with workshops led by women in science, technology, engineering, and math professions, ND Upward Bound Levin STEAMers headed to Central Michigan University to learn more about STEM.

To address girls’ antipathy toward all things STEM, participants explored various STEM industries through hands-on activities. "Even though I’m interested in computer science, the sports medicine workshop was really interesting. Maybe a possibility,” said UB Scholar Fiona Hughes. In addition to workshops, participants engaged in group activities, a career fair, a college tour, and a career panel. “I really enjoyed the career panel. It allowed us to make a personal connection with women presenting themselves and their respective industries. I can’t believe the panel was so diverse. That was refreshing to see,” said UB Scholar Samantha Alcantara. To conclude the conference, Zalite Valdis, EOA President offered the future STEAMers some encouraging words, “I am blown away! Your aspirations, your personalities, your intellect has really blown me away. I am proud to be in this room... If this is what the future holds, we’re in for amazement for generations to come.”

This summer, Samantha Alcantara received a full-scholarship to participate in Carnegie Mellon’s Summer Academy for Math & Science. Fiona Hughes served as a student-researcher for the Chemistry Department at the University of Notre Dame.