STEM SANTA FE NEWS RELEASE
This year, STEM Santa Fe’s annual STEM Pathways for Girls conference will return to the Santa Fe Community College Campus under COVID-safe practices on Saturday, October 30 from 8:30-4:00. Twelve local female STEM professionals and many volunteers from our community will gather to inspire up to 150 5th-8th grade girls with hands-on STEM workshops. Registration closes on Sunday, October 24, so if you know a girl who might want to attend, encourage her family to visit http://www.stemsantafe.org to learn more and register as soon as possible. Enrollment fee is $25 and is waived upon request.
The workshops will be led by women with rigorous STEM backgrounds from local organizations such as Los Alamos National Lab, Sandia National Labs, NM Office of the State Engineer, Santa Fe Community College, and the Railyard Park Conservancy. This year’s conference theme is Earth Stewardship Through STEM, and girls will participate in hands-on workshops like using goo to learn about how glaciers move and melt, designing and testing wind turbines, and learning about agriculture and the nitrogen cycle through a hands-on aquaponics activity.
Two more impressive women in STEM will give opening and closing keynote speeches, which STEM Santa Fe will stream live on our YouTube channel. These speeches are open to anyone who would like to tune in, but only the conference participants will be able to submit questions.
The opening keynote will be given at 5:30 on Friday, October 29 by Rebecca Erikson, Senior Staff Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She invented a smartphone microscope, a simple lens which can clip onto a smartphone and which was originally used to identify anthrax. Every conference participant will receive one of those microscopes.
Dr. Donna Nelson, Professor of Chemistry at University of Oklahoma, will close the conference at 5:30 on Saturday, October 30. Dr. Nelson has done important research into diversity in STEM fields, and is perhaps most widely known as the science consultant for Breaking Bad, though her speech for our conference will focus on her academic work.
Inspiring girls in 5th-8th grade to pursue STEM is important to our community because women remain underrepresented in STEM in New Mexico: only about 25% of STEM professionals in New Mexico are women. We must nurture girls’ interest in STEM at the critical time when gender stereotypes and other societal pressures begin to undermine their confidence in these fields. STEM Santa Fe invites you to witness the lighting of a spark that we hope will lead to a future world where women are equitably represented as leaders in STEM.
STEM Santa Fe advocates for, develops, and provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programming, mentoring, and resources for all youth, to realize their potential and expand their opportunities in a dynamic world.