STEM Day for Girls showcases hands-on learning

Girls learning about nursing Published March 19, 2024

More than 100 girls in grades 7-12 got a chance to experience and learn about STEM hands-on at College of Lake County’s (CLC) 11th annual STEM Day for Girls.

According to the American Association of University Women, women comprise only 34% of the STEM workforce and are underrepresented in most STEM majors in college.

STEM Day for Girls is a series of hands-on activities and inspiring presentations designed to motivate girls to become innovative and creative thinkers and to pursue a STEM career. The free event was co-sponsored by the Biological & Health Sciences Division and the Engineering, Math and Physical Sciences Division.

“It was so exciting to see this event come back to life after being paused,” said Julia Peterson, associate dean of the Engineering, Math and Physical Science division. “The girls had the opportunity to really test out career fields in STEM by getting their hands on things like pneumatic industrial technology trainers, sheep brains for dissection, x-ray imaging machines, engineering prototyping tools and much, much more. We want the girls to see the world of possibility in careers in the STEM fields.”

Students selected two 45 sessions which included topics such as surgery, astronomy, dentistry, software development, lasers and more. They learned informative career advice from successful scientists, engineers and professors.

There was also a panel and tour for parents/guardians of prospective students, focusing on how they can guide and support their student in pursuing an education at CLC.

CLC graduate Desira Daniel, now working as a business systems analyst for AbbVie, was the featured keynote speaker and collaborated with CLC’s computer science program to run a session for girls interested in getting started in software development.

“I’m a proud CLC alum and am honored I was able to make a difference in our communities for the next generation of little women that will be in STEM,” Daniel said.

At the closing session, CLC Foundation board member and former microchemist Glenda Abbott shared words of inspiration and excitement about STEM careers for the girls and their families.