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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Summer Stock '09 | USF Sarasota-Manatee Girls Stem Summit

School is back in session and it's that time of year we all look back and ask "where did the summer go?" For groups working in STEM encouragement, that sentiment can be especially profound because they were so busy, running great summer programs.

Over the next couple weeks, SciGirls will post a round up of fabulous summer programs we've heard about from across the country. We're calling the feature "Summer Stock." And here's the first installment--news from our friends at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

On June 20, the university, working with the American Association of University Women, held their first Girls STEM Summit. The full-day program featured a keynote by marine scientist and author, Dr. Ellen Prager. Discussion workshops included: Careers in Marine Science (a perennial favorite girl topic!); Research and Research Process; Are You Smarter Than a Fourth-Grade Boy?; New Faces of Engineering; and Math is Cool. After a lunch break, girls participated in hands-on activity sessions and then wound up the day with a salsa dance lesson.

Sounds like fun! And who wouldn't consider a career in STEM after that kind of introduction to the field!

Valerie Connors, who helped organize the event, says feedback from girls has been positive. One young woman wrote: "Thank you so so so so so so so so so so so so much for putting the summit for girls together!! I had a ton of fun, and learned a lot! Now I am seriously considering taking up a career in marine biology, and its all thanks to u!!"

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