Career fields involving science, technology, engineering and math are some of the fastest growing, but are still dominated by men. The Bryn Mawr School aims to change that.
“There’s a lot of stereotypes and societal biases that women aren’t good at math, women aren’t good in science,” said Eric Elton, Bryn Mawr’s STEM director. “And that’s absolutely not true.”
Now in his second year as STEM director, Elton implemented the annual STEM Career Fair, the first iteration of which took place in February 2014. Building on that success, Bryn Mawr hosted the second annual STEM Career Fair on Saturday, November 15. Hundreds of girls from 15 area schools, both public and private, met with volunteer representatives – most of whom were female – of 38 diverse STEM-related companies and organizations including Proctor & Gamble, the NSA, T. Rowe Price, Under Armour, NASA and more.
Students who participated in summer STEM-related internships also shared their work through a poster session. Topics ranged from the mechanics of cancer to the stickiness of a tree frog’s feet. Many volunteers mentioned how impressed they were with the research experience girls had already gained while still in high school.
“I looked at their posters, and they were amazing,” said Dr. Monica Pearl of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The fact that they have such a keen interest already is wonderful.”
“I had a really great time at my internship,” said poster presenter Feddi Roth ’15, who interned last summer with the Department of Oncology at Johns Hopkins. “It definitely helped me realize that I want to go into STEM.”
As the fair ended, each student left with a bag full of pamphlets and miscellaneous treasures: a Styrofoam slingshot, a rubber phone amplifier, a spaceship pin, a tube of volumizing mascara. But she also gained something intangible: a glimpse at dozens of doctors, scientists and engineers – all women passionate about subjects traditionally dominated by men.