STEM Expo for Middle School Girls Connects Industry with 90 Students from 3 RI Schools

  STEM Expo for Middle School Girls Connects Industry with 90 Students from 3
  RI Schools

 Tech Collective’s second annual STEM in the Middle workshop and career expo
  aims to increase STEM awareness, interest, and participation at a critical
                         time in students’ education.

Business Wire

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- December 04, 2012

Ninety female middle school students and 9 educators from Calcutt Middle
School, the Sophia Academy, and TIMES^2 Academy today attended Tech
Collective’s second annual STEM in the Middle Girls’ Career Expo.

The Expo was hosted by the Rhode Island STEM Center at Rhode Island College
and sponsored by the Governor’s Workforce Board Rhode Island and the Rhode
Island Job Development Fund, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, and Office
Depot.

Modeled after Tech Collective’s annual GRRL Tech event, STEM in the Middle
aims to raise awareness and participation in STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics) at the middle school level through a day of
hands-on interactive workshops and a learning lunch session with industry
professionals.

Nine workshops – ranging from biotechnology and DNA, social media,
mathematics, engineering, computer technology and programming, science, and
electronics – were designed and delivered by 20 female industry professionals
and faculty. Companies and organizations bringing real-world insight and
experience to the Expo were: Amgen, Catch the Science Bug, The Rhode Island
Foundation, the U.S. Navy, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Raytheon
Integrated Defense Systems, and Rhode Island College.

New to STEM in the Middle in its second year are changes in format and
attendance: 1.) Format – workshops were expanded so students could attend
three sessions (instead of two) throughout the day. 2.) Attendance – the Expo
welcomed students from Calcutt Middle School in Central Falls for the first
time this year in addition to previously attending schools: the Sophia Academy
and TIMES^2 Academy of Providence.

Mary Sullivan, Director of the RI STEM Center, expressed delight at hosting
STEM in the Middle for its second year. “Together with the Tech Collective, we
are committed to building STEMinists, young women who are interested in STEM
fields and motivated to continue their education with STEM in mind. STEM
content areas are present in so many careers – from fashion to global society
issues; from mathematical modeling of everyday phenomena to scientific
research. We value the opportunity to bring middle school students to campus
and sample the vista of opportunities that await them.”

“Middle School is an important stage in STEM engagement, and each year members
of our industry are eager to share their experience and enthusiasm with these
young women,” said JoAnn Johnson, manager of youth and education program for
Tech Collective. “It is truly inspiring, and also a critical component of
building the workforce pipeline that is the lifeblood and innovation of our
industry. Tech Collective is again so proud to be working with The Rhode
Island STEM Center at Rhode Island College, our sponsors, and our volunteers
to present this year’s STEM in the Middle Girls’ Career Expo.”

Educators and industry commonly agree that students need to be exposed to STEM
awareness and engagement at a young age. Middle school age is often recognized
as a turning point, where adolescence begins and the pressures of peers and
education increase. Students – particularly girls – can shy away from STEM due
to gender stereotypes or a lack of awareness and perceived opportunities. STEM
in the Middle’s mission is to erase these barriers through raising awareness
and increasing opportunities for and participation of young women in the
sciences.

The Rhode Island STEM Center at Rhode Island College
The RI STEM Center at Rhode Island College is committed to facilitating
state-of-the-art professional development, research, and collaborative
partnerships among PreK-college educators, teacher candidates, students, and
other community stakeholders to advance STEM education and literacy. Learn
more at www.ric.edu/stemcenter. Get connected to the STEM Center on Facebook
(RI STEM) and Twitter (@STEM RI).

Tech Collective
Tech Collective is Rhode Island’s Information Technology and Bioscience
Industry Association. Uniting industry, government and academic stakeholders,
our mission is to inspire, engage, educate and employ a high-skill, high-wage
Knowledge Economy in Rhode Island. Since its transition from the Rhode Island
Technology Council (RITEC) in 2004, Tech Collective has received more than $6M
in federal, state and private grant funding to foster industry collaboration,
awareness and development through events and initiatives including: Tech10,
GRRL Tech, Women in Technology, Bio-Ed, and STEM-based education and training
programs for K-16 students as well as incumbent and transitioning workers. Get
connected to Tech Collective at www.tech-collective.org, on Facebook
(TechCollectiveRI), and on Twitter (@Tech_Collective).

Contact:

Tech Collective
Giselle Mahoney, 401-829-8321
gmahoney@tech-collective.org