More than 100 visiting high school students spent a full day in hands-on, science-based workshops during the second Teentech event to be held at Atlantic Cape Community College on May 23.
The event, sponsored by the American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) Cape May and Atlantic County branches, South Jersey Industries 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 food science, media studies, nursing, drones and more.
As part of the day, a panelist of women in STEM careers addressed participants over lunch. Speakers were Dr. Christina Young, project lead and industrial engineer of Modeling and Simulation Branch at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center; Kim Gabel, staff engineer of the new business and compliance design department of South Jersey Gas; and Nicole Aszman, manager of system planning at South Jersey Gas. Atlantic Cape nursing student Zoya Khan of Egg Harbor Township and recent graduate Merna Gerges of Mays Landing also spoke to students.
According to Karen Brown, AAUW NJ’s project coordinator for Teentech, “There are many reasons women are still underrepresented in STEM careers, but AAUW research shows that one way this can be changed is by actively countering stereotypes. AAUW NJ organizes events such as Teentech to give girls the chance to experience success in a college setting. We want young women to get on an educational path that will empower them to take full advantage of lucrative, exciting, fulfilling technology careers. We know companies want to hire more women, and hire locally, so we’re helping the young women to be prepared. AAUW NJ is grateful to Atlantic Cape Community College for bringing this opportunity to the young women in their counties.”
Ravi Manimaran, dean of STEM programs at Atlantic Cape, said the theme of the workshop activities led by college faculty and the lunch panel discussion spearheaded by women scientists and engineers mirrors the quote by Sally Ride, the first American woman in space: “Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.”
See more photos HERE.