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UW’s Women in Science Conference to Host 700 Students from Wyoming


April 30, 2013 — Nearly 700 female high school and middle school students from Wyoming will converge on the University of Wyoming Tuesday, May 14, to discover their potential future -- one that may very well include a career as a scientist or an engineer.

The 14th annual Women in Science Conference, which will take place at various UW locations from 8:30 a.m.- 3 p.m., is designed to raise female students’ interest and excitement in science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) -- career fields typically dominated by men. The conference is organized by the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium.

The conference will include hands-on workshops on a variety of science and technology-related topics, including learning about human anatomy, techniques to study wildlife, the chemistry of color and light, smart polymers, renewable energy and solar cells. Additionally, the conference will include tours of UW laboratories and research facilities; opportunities to meet professionals who "conduct science" on a daily basis in their careers; and even a live-animal assembly, courtesy of the Denver Zoo. Campus tours will be offered to introduce students to UW.

“Making connections with people who are accomplished in mathematics or science-related occupations is one of the best ways to promote student aspirations and achievements,” says Michele Turner, program coordinator for the Wyoming NASA Space Consortium. “Our conference will provide a forum for young women and girls to learn about the endless opportunities available in math, science and technical-related careers; and to create personal connections with professional women.”

In addition to UW faculty and students, workshop presenters will come from the following institutions: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Denver Zoo, Wyoming Game & Fish Department, University of Colorado, Draper Museum of Natural History, Greater Yellowstone Raptor Experience, Wyoming Workforce Development Office, Western Wyoming Community College and local businesses.

Colorado storyteller Susan Marie Frontczak will perform “Manya, The Living History of Marie Curie,” about the Nobel Prize winner who discovered two elements -- polonium and radium -- and developed the theory on radioactivity.

Students from 26 schools and 19 communities are expected to attend. Schools are: Casper (Centennial Junior High, Dean Morgan Junior High and Natrona County High School); Cheyenne (South High School, Johnson Junior High, Noah Webster Christian School); Chugwater (Chugwater High School); Douglas (Douglas Middle School); Evanston (Evanston High School); Glenrock (Glenrock Middle School and Glenrock High School); Kaycee (Kaycee Middle School); Lander (Lander Middle School and Lander Valley High School); Laramie (Laramie Junior High, Laramie Senior High and the UW Lab School); Lusk (Lusk Middle School); Pinedale (Pinedale Middle School); Rawlins (Rawlins Middle School and Rawlins High School); Saratoga (Saratoga Middle-High School); Shoshoni (Shoshoni High School); Torrington (Torrington High School); Wheatland (Wheatland High School); Yoder (Southeast High School); and Daniel.

Workshops are scheduled in the following campus venues: Classroom Building, Physical Sciences Building, WWAMI medical education laboratory, Berry Center, Energy Innovation Center, UW Art Museum, Wyoming Union and possibly the Engineering Building.

For more information, go to http://wyomingspacegrant.uwyo.edu/WomenInScience.asp or contact Turner at (307) 766-2862 or mturner@uwyo.edu.

Photo:
Jessica Friis, a horticulturalist for the Paul Smith Children’s Village at Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, watches two Douglas Middle School students during her “Hydroponic Plant” course at last year’s Women in Science Conference. About 700 female high school and middle school students are expected to attend this year’s event at UW.

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