Penn State Fayette empowers girls to try STEAM fields

April 13, 2015

Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, recently hosted 170 ninth-grade female students from area high schools for a day-long event exploring career opportunities in the fields of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). The March 11 event, sponsored by the Penn State Fayette Commission for Women (CFW), engaged students in hands-on, interactive sessions designed to provide insight into the career possibilities available in these fields.

According to Billie Jo Yuhaniak, CFW campus liaison, the Penn State Fayette STEAM program differs from other more common STEM events by the inclusion of an arts component. She said, “This is an excellent opportunity for these young women to begin thinking at an early age of the careers available to them in the fields of STEAM.”

Penn State faculty held workshops in nursing, physical therapy, engineering, mathematics, arts, and sciences.

Students who participated in the science, nursing, and physical therapy workshops learned about the benefits of working in healthcare and how to begin their career while still in high school. Some got to be “GSI: Germ Scene Investigators” by performing three short simulations to model how an infectious disease can spread through a human population and how to determine the disease’s original carrier.

Students with an interest in engineering learned about the field’s many disciplines. They also participated in an activity to learn how engineers use the design process to provide solutions to everyday problems.

A mathematics-oriented workshop provided an opportunity for students to conduct polls in order to explore ways in which statistics are used in business, industry, and science.

Those interested in the arts were able to gather on a stage and express themselves in a creative way through movement. They strengthened their critical-thinking skills by performing a skit with other students and learned why Shakespeare’s work is still relevant.

Members of the Penn State Fayette CFW believe Future 4 U-An Exploration of STEAM Career Opportunities for Women has the potential to make a significant impact on its participants. After the success of last year’s first-ever program, the commission decided to make it an annual event.

Last Updated October 27, 2015