Penn State Wilkes-Barre helps girls become 'WISE'

Penn State Wilkes-Barre currently is accepting registrations for its first Women in the Sciences and Engineering (WISE) program. Underwritten by Procter and Gamble’s Live, Learn and Thrive grant, Penn State Wilkes-Barre is accepting 20 women into the program at no cost. This three day camp on alternative energy is open to young women currently in grades six through eight and will be held on campus under the leadership of Wes Grebski, associate professor of engineering at Penn State Hazleton.

During this three-day program, middle school girls will be able to gain hands-on knowledge and experience with current energy issues. Beginning with a discussion on what energy is, where it comes from, and what “renewable energy” means, participants will build solar ovens and devices for brewing tea using the sun.

Day two of the program emphasizes the importance of jobs in the energy field and how to go after those jobs. Jon Carson, associate professor of engineering at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, will discuss the educational aspect of engineering, engineering versus engineering technology, and keys to success such as critical thinking, math skills, what courses to take in high school, and the applications of modern science as a tool in engineering.

Gerri Wall, Career Counselor at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, will talk about getting a head start on potential engineering careers, share guidance resources on the Internet, help WISE participants get a head start on building an effective résumé, and how to explore other options in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The final day of the program includes a field trip to Penn State Hazleton to see a photovoltaic power station, experimental wind turbine, and a full-sized solar powered car. From the Hazleton campus, students also will be able to see a working wind farm.

Created at Penn State in 1994, the WISE Institute represents an innovative approach to cross-disciplinary interaction among engineers, humanists, scientists and social scientists to promote the representation and diversity of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The primary mission of the Wise Institute is to facilitate the entry and success of women in STEM fields in an environment promoting gender equity by: coordinating efforts throughout Penn State; creating opportunities for women of diverse backgrounds to thrive in STEM fields; mentoring individuals; and promoting institutional and cultural change.

For more information or to register, please contact Ann Murtagh at 570-675-9219 or amm60@psu.edu.

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Last Updated May 26, 2010