Student workshop presenters engaged the girls in hand-on activities while describing careers based on one or more of the STEM fields. Each girl attended three 40-minute workshops.
A capacity crowd of 500 middle school girls and parents filled the NOVA-Annandale Ernst Center auditorium on Saturday, March 21, to attend STEMtastics 2015. Students from 36 schools, including over thirty McLean students from Longfellow and Cooper Middle Schools, attended the career day event designed to educate and inspire the students to consider careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Keynote speaker Valerie Bradley, a 2014 Harvard graduate who majored in Statistics, provided advice and inspiration as she described surviving cancer and her motivation to pursue a STEM-related career. Following opening ceremonies, forty female presenters from across STEM fields ran interactive breakout workshops for the students. Parents had the opportunity to attend informational workshops on resources, financing options, and supporting their daughters.
The event was sponsored by the Fairfax City, McLean Area, Springfield-Annandale, and Vienna Area branches of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), in partnership with Fairfax County Public Schools and Systemic Solutions. AAUW has been a leader in sponsoring STEM education programs and introducing girls to female role models. To raise money for STEM awards and educational scholarships, the McLean Area Branch will hold its 46th Annual Book Sale on Sept. 18-20 and collect books on May 30, June 20, July 18, and August 8. For more information on STEMtastics or the McLean Area Book Sale, visit the AAUW McLean Area website at http://mclean-va.aauw.net or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.