Full STEAM Ahead: Seeking female presenters for girls-only conference

Attention all local women currently kicking ass in the STEAM world!

On June 25th Math Science Innovation Center and the Greater Richmond chapter American Academy of University Women (AAWU) will host Full STEAM Ahead, an all-day conference on June 25th, 2016 designed to inspire middle school girls to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering, art/design, and math.

Full STEAM Ahead will take place at Martin Luther King Middle School in Church Hill. The conference will target a diverse group of middle school girls (anticipated attendance is 150) from different cultural and economic backgrounds in Richmond’s major metro area school divisions.

Full STEAM Ahead plans to offer 8 to 10 interactive, STEAM-related workshops led by “engaging female role models” who will share their experiences in as leaders in their respective fields. Workshops will last about 50 minutes and will host 12 to 15 girls at a time.

The deadline for presenter proposals has been extended to Tuesday, March 29th, and Full STEAM Ahead’s planners encourage local women currently kicking ass in the STEAM world to toss their hats in the ring.

I know you’re saying, “Hold up, Catrow. That’s tomorrow. A proposal by tomorrow? That’s crazy.”

Two things to consider:

First, the application is very straightforward and requests brevity. You can do this.

Second, this conference is important. You need to do this.

According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 47 percent of our nation’s total workforce–but we are signficantly less represented in particular science and engineering occupations. For example1:

  • 39 percent of chemists and material scientists are women
  • 27.9 percent of environmental scientists and geoscientists are women
  • 15.6 percent of chemical engineers are women
  • 12.1 percent of civil engineers are women
  • 8.3 percent of electrical and electronics engineers are women
  • 17.2 percent of industrial engineers are women
  • 7.2 percent of mechanical engineers are women

And there’s also this, from the Office of Science and Technology Policy:

Supporting women STEM students and researchers is not only an essential part of America’s strategy to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world; it is also important to women themselves. Women in STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in non-STEM occupations and experience a smaller wage gap relative to men. And STEM careers offer women the opportunity to engage in some of the most exciting realms of discovery and technological innovation. Increasing opportunities for women in these fields is an important step towards realizing greater economic success and equality for women across the board.

So! STEAM women, if you’ve got an idea for a STEAM-related workshop that you think will be a hit with the middle school set, go ahead and fill out the online application2. If you’ve got questions, get in touch with Carol Stephens at steamconference@gmail.com.

If presenting isn’t your thing, Full STEAM Ahead is also looking for:

  • Mentors to assist presenters during the workshops
  • Registration volunteers to help with check-in
  • General volunteers to pass out lunches, guide the girls between workshops, etc.

Registration will open for conference attendees in April. Keep an eye on the Full STEAM Ahead website and Facebook page  for updates.

  1. Source 
  2. There is a $50 stipend (per workshop) available for materials. 
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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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