The Arkansas Tech University STEM Institute hosted 120 female students representing five school districts on Friday, Feb. 9, for a STEM Girls Leadership Conference on the Russellville campus of ATU.
Students from Clarksville, Pine Bluff, Russellville, Two Rivers and Western Yell County learned about educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.
“I always tell these girls, you don’t know what you didn’t know until you experience it,” said Sarah Burnett, math specialist in the ATU Stem Institute. “They always want to pick and choose something they are already interested in. We want to offer opportunities for options they might not know about. We want to push them outside their comfort zone and into an area that they never thought about before, such as how psychology relates to STEM. That can spark an entirely new dream.”
Breakout sessions took in-depth looks at such topics as nursing, utilizing drones in emergency management settings and political science.
Attendees also had an opportunity to attend a STEM fair and visit with ATU representatives from such disciplines as agriculture, computer and information science, cultural and geospatial studies, engineering, geology, hospitality administration and rehabilitation science.
Funding for the STEM Girls Leadership Conference at ATU was provided by the Arkansas STEM Coalition and the Arkansas Department of Career Education.