From “CSI Atlantic Cape” to “The Real Grey’s Anatomy,” nearly 70 visiting high school students spent a full day in hands-on, science-based workshops during the first teentech event at Atlantic Cape Community College June 2.
The event, sponsored by the AAUW, South Jersey Gas and the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation, was aimed at encouraging young women in grades 9-11 to further their education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Jobs in the STEM fields are among the fastest growing, and generally have higher salaries than jobs traditionally held by women.
Teentech featured a series of laboratory, engineering and math workshops that attendees could choose from based on their interests, including “3D Future NOW,” The Science of Cooking,” “Engineer This” and more.
“I think the students were blown away by the state-of-the-art equipment they got to use in their workshops and the passion of our educators,” said Donna Vassallo, dean of career education. “This was a really exciting first for us, and we wanted the students to walk away with a new perspective on STEM careers and the education Atlantic Cape offers.”
As part of the day, a panelist of women in nontraditional careers addressed participants over lunch. Speakers were Marie Kee, aerospace engineer at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center; Olivia Dunleavy, supervisor of construction at South Jersey Gas; and Nicole Aszman, supervisor of field engineering at South Jersey Gas.
“We want you to be inspired to take on the world,” said Carol Cohen, president of the American Association of University Women New Jersey. She said the organization offers leadership programs and networking opportunities for women nationally, and has a presence in 900 colleges and universities, including 27 in New Jersey.
“There are a wide variety of career options at South Jersey Gas,” said Kim Eby, senior director of talent management at South Jersey Gas. “We participate in many community events, such as teentech, so students can learn about them and the skills needed to be successful.”