Event Encourages Girls to Pursue STEM Fields

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

At least 200 high school girls are expected to attend the Women Engineers and Scientists of Tomorrow (WEST) Conference on Saturday, March 2 at Harvey Mudd College.

Hosted by the HMC chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the event will offer young women an opportunity to learn about careers in engineering, science and mathematics.

“Our main goal is to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM fields, as well as share with them how fascinating math, science and engineering can be,” said Frances Su ’14, who is SWE co-president with Alice Zhang ’14. “We also want to expose students to different technical fields, and give them a feel for what it is like to be at Mudd and interact closely with professors.”

Participants can meet and talk with HMC students and faculty to gain insight into college life and post-graduation career options. They will attend two workshops from a selection of sessions in engineering, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and biology. This year’s workshops include using color to solve crimes, making decisions using mathematics, and creating games and animations.

The engineering workshops offer the chance to design and build something, such as a “marble” track or LED circuit. They will be led by engineering professors Adrian Hightower, Liz Orwin, Qimin Yang and Ruye Wang. Chemistry workshops will be led by chemistry professors Lelia Hawkins and Katherine Van Heuvelen. Additional workshops will be led by mathematics Professor Susan Martonosi, computer science Professor Colleen Lewis, biology Professor Anna Ahn and Teaching and Research Postdoctoral Fellow Jacqueline Dresch.

Keynote speakers will be Northrop Grumman employees Qiong Jackson, system engineer manager, and Molly Kerr, system performance lead.

The WEST Conference will also include a luncheon, a college admissions talk, a student life panel and a tour of the HMC campus.