Silicon Valley experts offered career guidance to teens for STEM week. At Los Altos High School in California, the top talent in high tech industries showed the teens the exciting career prospects that could be in their future. Fields represented included augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and self-driving car technology.
The Bay Area professionals who came to speak at the 12th Annual STEM Week included representatives of IBM, Lockheed Martin, Google, Nintendo, and Microsoft. The annual event is intended to stimulate student interest in careers in STEM. It provides teens who are already interested in technology and research an opportunity to network with local experts, and a chance to reach students who are not aware of those career possibilities.
“We have a pretty diverse student body, and some of these kids may not have thought about pursuing careers and degrees in these areas,” said Laura Teksler, one of the parent organizers of the event. “It can open their mind on what possibilities there may be.”
A priority of the event is to encourage girls to consider STEM careers in fields where women are not well represented. While women comprise 48% of the work force, only 24% have jobs in STEM fields. Fewer than one in five people earning bachelor’s degrees in tech fields such as computer science and engineering are women, according to the National Science Foundation.