PIQUA – Nearly 300 students ranging from sixth to 12th grade engaged in a day of learning and fun this month at Edison State Community College for the 13th annual Women In STEMM Expo.
The daylong program is designed to help boost the interest of young women in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical career fields.
The women were welcomed to campus by Edison State President Dr. Doreen Larson, who encouraged them to step out of their comfort zone to explore different career options.
“Go to a breakout session today that you think that you’re maybe not at all interested in, and it absolutely may surprise you. Try out everything, ask questions and have a ball today. We’re here for you, and we’re thrilled you’re here,” Larson said.
While on campus, each of the girls chose three breakout sessions to attend throughout the day with topics ranging from medical laboratory diagnostics and information technology to chemistry and engineering.
Many of the day’s sessions focused on topics that are relevant in the girls’ daily lives. “Perfection Isn’t Just a Game… What Can You Perfect?” led by Crown Equipment Corp. employees tested students’ skills in teamwork, problem-solving, creativity and scientific thinking as they raced against the clock to put their ideas into action and perfect the process.
Several breakout sessions also gave students a glimpse into potential career paths, including a session led by Edison State health science instructors Vickie Kirk and Yvonne Koors titled, “Med Lab Tech – Is it for you?” In this session, students examined the physical and chemical properties of different substances and how they relate to disease. This session gave students the opportunity to experiment in an essential and ever-changing diagnostic profession.
A total of 21 breakout sessions were offered throughout the day, which focused on various aspects of STEMM. New to this year’s expo was a “Walk and Explore” portion dedicated to STEMM career demonstrations, and included more than 20 tables with area businesses for students to visit to learn more about various career fields.
At the end of the event, a winning video entry from the Women In STEMM Expo Video Contest was announced. The contest asked students to examine a television show or movie and explain how the characters of the show apply STEMM principles to their career. A total of 31 students entered the contest, and the first-place winner received a laptop with accessories.
Representatives from Adecco General Staffing, Amateur Radio Association, ApprenticeOhio, Care Source, Crown Equipment Corp., Edison State Community College, Emerson, FRAM, Hartzell Propeller, Inc., Hobart Institute, Inventor Council of Dayton, Scott Family McDonald’s, Midmark, Marias Technology, OSU-Miami County Extension Office, Premier Heath, Raymath, Second National Bank, Sheet Metal Workers, Troy Area Chamber of Commerce, UD Fastlane, U.S. Air Force, Wayne HealthCare and Xcel Sports Medicine provided their expertise for the day’s break-out sessions and table demonstrations.
The Women In STEMM Expo was made possible by a grant from the Miami County Foundation and the Perkins Grant. The event was also funded by donations from Emerson, Honda, Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Second National Bank and the Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Aldi Giving, Basil’s on Market, Cincinnati Zoo, Carried Away Salon & Spa, Crown Equipment Corp., Dannon Yogurt, DoBo Delights Bake Shoppe, Eagle Printing & Graphics LLC, Lee’s Famous Recipe, Lincoln Electric, the Scott Family McDonald’s, Mikesell’s, Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Second National Bank, Wayne Hospital and Whirlpool donated gifts for the event.