“Why aren’t there more girl scientists?” The question was simple; the answer is something we’re working on. Posed by one of the youngest students in attendance at last month’s Women in STEM Town Hall — a fourth-grader from Riverside elementary — the query gave voice to a question on the minds of the 200+ business professionals, educators, parents, community members and students who’d gathered for the event.
Jared Mauldin, an Eastern Washington University senior engineering student, kicked-off our Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Town Hall by reading the letter to the editor he submitted to The Easterner last October. Jared’s letter went viral soon after its original publish date, and was picked up by the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan and others national news organizations because its content was timely, important and true: The challenges faced by women who pursue engineering careers are different than those faced by men, and it’s time we do something about it.
The evening was presented by Spokane STEM, in partnership with the Women’s Funding Alliance, Washington STEM and Greater Spokane Incorporated, and featured a panel of three women – all local STEM professionals, who shared their experience about moving into STEM careers and the vital role that mentorship has played in their success.
The event panelists were Michele Moore, Astronomy Instructor and Co-Director of the planetarium at Spokane Falls Community College; Mireya Fitzloff, Construction Manager at McKinstry; and Heather Rosentrater, Vice President of Energy and Delivery and Customer Service at Avista. Around the room were 50 students and young adults who engaged in STEM conversations and presented questions to the panelists.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, or learning more about STEM in Spokane, visit spokanestem.org and sign up to become a partner.
The Spokane STEM Network works to transform the way we think, learn, work and live through STEM by enhancing STEM education opportunities for all youth in the region and by increasing the number of students pursuing and achieving success in STEM careers. The work of Spokane STEM is supported by Greater Spokane Incorporated, in partnership with Northeast Washington Education Service District 101.