Area female students explore STEM careers
The hubbub that focused on science, technology, engineering and math-STEM-took place Feb. 1, during Tech Women Ambassadors, a career day sponsored by the New Hampshire Tech Alliance, formerly the New Hampshire High Tech Council, founded nearly 30 years ago. Members are acclaimed for guiding and educating tech-oriented entrepreneurs and startups.
Dozens of attendees are considering futures as engineers, scientists, medical researchers and such. Female students in grades 7-9 listened to a panel of women tech ambassadors from a variety of companies. Then, the participants formed compact workshops to continue the discourse.
The girls and the workshop leaders talked about supply chain optimization and data analysis. They discussed Little Bits, Cubelets and Makey-Makeys – miniature electronic project-building components. Elsewhere, a flight simulator awaited testing. Representatives from Camp Invention, a summer tech camp, and Southern New Hampshire University offered counsel. Acacia and Nokia staffers were plied with questions.
The event was launched by some avid STEM aficionados: Hollis School District Assistant Superintendent Gina Bergskaug; Katrina Hall, math teacher at Hollis Brookline Middle School; Lorna Spargo, computer science teacher at HBHS; and Nicole Tomaselli, curriculum administrator for the Hollis School District. Volunteer helpers were abundant and appreciated.
“This exposure to STEM career opportunities and options can be an inspiration to young women,” Bergskaug said. “Careers in STEM-related fields are of critical importance.”
Exhibiting that day were tech professionals. Acacia and Nokia were represented by Tina Galanti; Leanne Gillis; Sue Allen; Dawn Marie Sutton; and Karen Leonard. Nearby, from BAE Systems, were staffers Stephanie Livsey; Corey St. Louis; Kendra Block; and Molly McGuire.
In addition, Jane Maurer attended on behalf of SNHU. Katie Smith answered questions about Oracle and Dyn Internet security. Brandi Emerson spoke for Single Digits, high-speed internet providers. Grady Sullivan also was on hand as a spokesman for Skymap Games, a video game design and development company.
Lily Jackson, 16, a junior at HBHS, commended the the wide range of tech company personnel on hand, along with experts from related STEM enterprises.
“The best thing about this event was the outreach to the community,” Jackson said. “It was an opportunity to show young women technologies that help people.”