Student workshop presenter Kassidy Hook, far right, a physical therapist at Physiotherapy Associates in McLean, engaged the girls in activities, as well as described a career based on one of the STEM fields. Each girl attended three 40-minute workshops.
Keynote speaker Swetha Prabakaran, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, spoke to a capacity crowd of 500 middle school girls and parents attending STEMtastics 2016 at NOVA-Annandale Ernst Center auditorium on Saturday, March 12. Students from 36 schools, including almost 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). Prabakaran provided advice and inspiration as she described her nonprofit organization “Everybody Code Now!” intended to encourage young women to consider computer science and other STEM-related activities. 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 47th Annual Book Sale on Sept. 16-18 and collect book donations from May through August. 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.