News

Inspire girls to pursue STEM careers

Mar 02, 2017

Girl Stem Participants

The #girlSTEM Conference brought more than 800 girls to campus in 2016 to learn about careers in STEM fields. Applications are now being accepted to present at the 2017 event, which will be held May 18 at Delaware Valley University. 

Rapid growth and high demand are driving the need for more support of #girlSTEM, an educational conference for middle and high school girls that is held at Delaware Valley University each spring. Organizers at United Way of Bucks County and the Bucks County Intermediate Unit are seeking volunteer presenters to ensure the continued success of the conference in 2017.

The #girlSTEM conference, which will take place on Thursday, May 18 at DelVal, is designed to inspire girls in grades 6 through 10 to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Attendees engage with and learn from professional women working in STEM-related jobs. With a diverse range of fields represented – agriculture, banking, physics, nursing, marine biology, real estate, engineering, app design, and many more – girls really get a chance to see what they can be.

In 2016, more than 800 girls representing every community in Bucks County attended the conference. After attending #girlSTEM 2016; 97 percent of girls felt motivated to do well in school, 96 percent of girls felt engaged in their own learning and 95 percent of girls said #girlSTEM helped them plan ahead, make career choices, and feel optimistic about their future.

Organizers say that the ability to host more than 800 students again in 2017 will depend largely on community support.

According to Dr. Lindsey Sides, the Intermediate Unit's coordinator of teaching, learning, and nonpublic services, the challenge will be having enough high-quality presenters on-site that day.

"We need at least 20 to 25 presenters per session, though hopefully some volunteers will stay for more than one session," said Dr. Sides.

Dr. Sides notes that the goal this year is to pre-register girls for their sessions, much like a professional conference.  Session proposals will be reviewed on an ongoing basis; presenters are encouraged to submit an application as early as possible.

PECO is the presenting sponsor of the 2017 #girlSTEM conference. 

Sign Up to Present: 

Women interested in volunteering as presenters should visit: bciu.formstack.com/forms/2017presenter_proposal. Sessions should be designed to be interactive, hands-on, and informative. The deadline to volunteer as a presenter is April 1. Questions about presenting at #girlSTEM should be directed to Dr. Lindsey Sides at lsides@bucksiu.org.