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UW Hosts Women in STEM Conference May 17

May 4, 2022
two young women using a microscope
During the then-titled Women in Science Conference at UW during 2018, middle school students work together during an “Images in Microscopy” session taught by John Willford, a UW clinical assistant professor and assistant director of the WWAMI Medical Education Program. This year’s Women in STEM event is scheduled Tuesday, May 17, from 8:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m. at various locations on the UW campus. (UW Photo)

Nearly 600 junior and senior high school female students from across the state have already signed up to learn more about science and its various disciplines on the University of Wyoming campus.

The Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Conference, scheduled Tuesday, May 17, from 8:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m., is designed to spark students’ passion in STEM fields and provide the students with mentors and role models. The conference, now in its 22nd year, formerly was known as the Women in Science Conference.

“Our goals for this conference are to provide role models for young women and provide them with information about majors and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” says Megan Candelaria, an assistant research scientist in UW’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, and associate director for the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium. “We also have tentatively planned a virtual event for Friday, May 20, to accommodate those who cannot travel to Laramie.”

Holly Krutka, executive director of the UW School of Energy Resources (SER), will make a brief introduction before attendees head to their various workshops.

The conference will offer 28 hands-on workshops. Each participant will engage in three workshops and have the opportunity to meet professionals who do “science” on a daily basis in their careers, Candelaria says.

Volunteers from UW and regional organizations will present workshops on a variety of science and technology-related topics, including wildlife forensics, exploring the brain, women in energy, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, microscopy, atoms, UW’s campus geology, palm oil in our daily lives, wildlife diseases in Wyoming, satellite imaging, fossil fish, women in astronomy, drones, plant propagation, women in wildlife and the Shell 3D Visualization Center.

Workshops will take place in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Building, the Animal Science/Molecular Biology Building, Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center, Biological Sciences Building, the Classroom Building, Geological Museum, Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium, Michael B. Enzi STEM Facility, the Physical Sciences Building, Wyoming Union and the Shell 3D Visualization Center, and on Prexy’s Pasture.

Major supporters of this year’s conference are the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium, a UW College of Arts and Sciences Inreach Grant, the UW College of Engineering and Applied Science, SER and Wyoming IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE).

To date, female students from the following communities and schools have registered to participate in Women in STEM:

-- Big Piney Middle School.

-- Casper: CY Middle School.

-- Cheyenne: East High School, South High School and Lumos Academy/Homeschool.

-- Cody: Rocky Mountain Homeschool Academy.

-- Douglas Middle School.

-- Glenrock Junior/Senior High School.

-- Green River High School.

-- Lander Middle School.

-- Laramie: Albany County Homeschool Group, Laramie Middle and High schools and Whiting High School.

-- Lingle-Fort Laramie Middle School.

-- Mountain View Middle and High schools.

-- Pinedale Middle School.

-- Rawlins Middle School.

-- Riverton: Trinity Lutheran School.

-- Saratoga Middle School.

-- Torrington Middle School.

-- Yoder: Southeast Junior High School.

More schools are expected to register before the event. Currently, there are 75 students on the event’s wait list, Candelaria says.

For more information about the Women in STEM Conference, go to www.wyomingspacegrant.org/k12programs/women-in-stem/.

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