PIQUA — Edison State Community College hosted its 14th annual Women in STEMM Expo on Friday at its Piqua campus, welcoming over 300 middle and high school girls who attended sessions led by various local businesses.
The focus of the expo was to inspire female students to pursue a career in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) fields.
“We are thrilled to have all of you on our campus and taking a look at what you can do in your future with science, technology, engineering, mathematics, (and medicine),” Edison State Community College President Dr. Doreen Larson said Friday. “It is a future that just is so bright for all of you, and one that you can shape for yourselves.”
Larson encouraged the students to “try something different” and explore the different possible areas of study and career fields outside of their comfort zones.
“There’s just nothing that you can’t do with something that you’re interested in,” Larson said. “You can design your future.”
Larson also encouraged students to find what they’re passionate about and interested in, saying “Things will cross paths … You don’t have to be choosing one area and discarding another. Everything be will be coming together, and technology will be the key to that.”
The Women in STEMM Expo was host to a number of local businesses, some presenting at various breakout sessions during the day and others at booths and tables along the students’ paths to those breakout sessions.
“There are many, many businesses here to day. They are very interested in you,” Larson said. “They know you are talented. They know you are bright. They know you are creative. They know that you can communicate and work as a team. These are the skills that they are very interested in, so they are here to work with you, they are here to inspire you, and they are here to recruit you.”
Larson noted she was the first female president of Edison State, explaining that she mentioned it to encourage them to “make sure that you aim for the top.”
Larson finished by noting how Ohio has been a part of the path to science and technology.
“The road to space has always gone through Ohio. Whatever the next frontier will be, the path to it will go through Ohio,” Larson said. “There is nothing that stops you from accomplishing your dreams.”
Students came from schools across Miami, Darke, Logan, Montgomery, and Shelby counties, including Anna, Benjamin Logan, Bradford, Covington, Lehman Catholic, Greenville, Northmont, Piqua Catholic, Piqua, Sidney, Tippecanoe High School, and the Upper Valley Career Center.
“We invite all the schools,” said Sandra Streitenberger, chair of the committee for the Women in STEMM Expo and an associate professor of accounting and business at Edison State. She said more than 40 businesses participated in the expo which had more than 100 volunteers, including people from outside the college.
Streitenberger said the event is held annually to inspire more young women to pursue a career in a STEMM field as “the women in STEMM fields … are below 20 percent.” She said they hoped to foster exposure to those fields and help open doors for the students to pursue careers in those fields.
Breakout sessions included presentations from representatives from the following businesses:
• Emerson Commercial and Residential Services challenged students to use different technologies— computers, phones, scanners, printers, and so on to find the clues and solve an escape room-type puzzle.
• Midmark Corporation had students design a “wonderland” house constructed entirely out of candy and other holiday treats that then had to “withstand the not-so-sweet elements of one of the winter wonderland’s most intense blizzards.”
• Marias Technology, taught students about programming specifications and had students work through examples of turning ideas into “spec talk.”
• Premier Health Learning Institute brought the Upper Valley Hospitals’ Mobile Education Van and taught students how and why certain procedures are done in attempt to resuscitate a cardiac arrest victim.
• Miami County’s OSU Extension Office taught students how LED lights, copper tape and a coin cell battery can create an electronic circuit.
• Crown Equipment Corporation tested students’ teamwork, problem solving, creativity and scientific thinking skills during a game.
• Speedway Inc. gave students a “Speedy Reward” challenge to prepare a shopping list and earn points.
• Armstrong Air and Space Museum had students explore the phenomenon of refraction using lasers, prisms and other materials.
• Minster Bank discussed budgeting with the students.
Edison State also had representatives from its campus discuss various topics in the areas of computer programming, electrical engineering, the police academy, chemistry, math, agriculture, nursing, and more.
For more information about Edison State, visit www.edisonohio.edu.