The annual conference, presented by PECO, welcomed more than 800 girls and 40 volunteers on May 24
The #girlSTEM Conference, presented by PECO, was hosted on May 24 at Delaware Valley University.
More than 800 girls and 40 volunteer presenters working in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) fields came together with the hopes of inspiring middle and high school girls to pursue STEM careers. The #girlSTEM Conference is now the largest county-wide educational conference for students in the area.
“There are many girls coming from middle and high school to learn about science, technology, engineering and math, and as a scientist myself, I couldn’t be more thrilled about it,” said DelVal president Dr. Maria Gallo.
Girls in grades seven through ten attended three 45-minute sessions led by women working in STEM. They were able to choose the sessions that were of interest to them to give them the best possible experience.
In addition to building STEM awareness, the conference inspires girls to succeed in other areas. In 2017, 95% of girls who attended reported feeling motivated to do well in school following #girlSTEM.
“STEM jobs are often male dominated. Research shows that, while women fill close to half of all jobs in the United States, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. #girlSTEM seeks to turn these statistics around,” says Dr. Lindsey Sides, who organized the conference on behalf of the Bucks County Intermediate Unit.
Romona Riscoe Benson of PECO, the conference’s presenting sponsor, delivered the opening remarks. “At PECO we are committed to supporting education, with a specific focus on STEM programming and initiatives,” said Riscoe Benson, director of corporate relations at PECO. “Introducing young girls to STEM related fields can ignite a passion that pushes them to become the future leaders of our industry who drive innovation.”
The conference was led and coordinated by the Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22 in partnership with United Way of Bucks County and was hosted by Delaware Valley University.
The 2018 #girlSTEM Conference was funded by PECO (Presenting Sponsor); Dominion Energy, DOW, and NASC (Gold Sponsors); PPL Electric Utilities, Solvay, Parx Casino (Silver Sponsors); St. Mary Medical Center, Harrisburg University of Science & Technology, BB&T, Comcast, Langan Engineering, ARRIS Inc., Penn Community Bank, UGI Electric Utilities, Mr. D’s Tees, and Wegmans (Bronze Sponsors).