A recent conference highlighted the importance of girls getting experience in STEM fields.
At the Northern Utah Expanding Your Horizons conference, girls had opportunities to participate in STEM activities and seek advice from women in the field. “The more I learn and the better I get at it, the more opportunities I’ll have,” said sixth grader Maddy, a student from Clearfield. Maddy wants to be both a pilot and a veterinarian, hoping to help animals all over the state.
Maddy’s sister Jessie was also enthusiastic. “I like the hands-on stuff best,” she said, while twirling the propeller of the airplane that she made and flew as a conference activity. “A lot of it is stuff you don’t get to do in class.”
The purpose of Expanding Your Horizons is to encourage women and girls to pursue their interest in STEM fields, and build careers, according to Kay Anderson, spokeswoman for Orbital ATK, the sponsor of the conference. Hundreds of junior high school girls come each year to learn the practical skills in fields where participation of women is low.
“A lot of creativity comes out of this,” said Marilyn Marshall, an ATK employee.