Female students expand their horizons at STEM conference

Elaine P. Scott, from the University of Washington-Bothell, was the keynote speaker at the Expanding Your Horizons conference at Edmonds Community College.

More than 200 young women attended Edmonds Community College’s Expanding Your Horizons conference on March 27, where they learned about science and math courses and were encouraged to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The young women came from 13 schools in five public school districts, as well as from two private schools. They could attend 37 different workshop offering 46 presenters and co-presenters.

“We know we need to increase the number of students obtaining degrees in STEM fields to provide a workforce for a healthy economy in the 21st century,” said Edmonds Community College math instructor Deann Leoni. “It’s a great time to be studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

The day of workshops began with an exhibitor fair, where participants could learn about colleges and career options, and ended with an ice cream social, where they were able to get to know other young women who shared their own interests in science and math.

Elaine P. Scott, dean designee of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at the University of Washington-Bothell, was the keynote speaker.

Also speaking were Edmonds CC President Jean Hernandez and Director of Admissions and Recruitment Jeanette Delaney. Delaney said one participant emailed her the following: “Thanks for a great day! I’m glad I was able to come. I have a field trip tomorrow and wasn’t sure if I wanted to miss two days of school in a row. It was worth it. I’m looking forward to next year’s!”

Meanwhile, Edmonds Community College has received a $592,240 grant from the National Science Foundation to provide scholarships and support to students studying science, technology, engineering, and math. The grant will support 45 low-income students in their math and science studies. Students will receive a scholarship of up to $5,000 each year while they complete their degree. Approximately 15 new awards will be made in fall 2013 for students who will graduate from Edmonds CC in 2015 or later.

For more information on STEM at Edmonds Community College, see https://www.edcc.edu/stem/.

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