Science and technology are not career paths that readily spring to mind for a majority of adolescent girls. But UConn’s School of Engineering is taking steps to change that, with a program that demonstrates to young women who are about to start high school that there are multiple options available to them for careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
On April 3, nearly 240 8th-grade girls from middle schools around the state came to campus for a one-day conference, Multiply Your Options, aimed at exposing them to female role models in the STEM fields. Hosted by the School of Engineering with assistance from the UConn chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, the program is based on the premise that female students should have the same ability and opportunity to pursue careers in STEM as males.
During the event, the participants took part in hands-on workshops and problem-solving activities conducted by female facilitators in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology-focused careers, and were able to explore the wide variety of opportunities that are open to them in STEM.
The University has held dozens of Multiply Your Options conferences over the past 26 years, and more than 6,000 young women have participated. Some former participants are currently attending UConn with majors in STEM fields; others have already graduated from the University and are now pursuing careers in STEM.
The schools represented April 3 include: Ashford School in Ashford, Horace W. Porter School in Columbia, East Hampton Middle School in East Hampton, Two Rivers Magnet Middle School in East Hartford, West Side STEM Magnet Middle School in Groton, RHAM Middle School in Hebron, The Williams School in New London, North Canaan Elementary School in North Canaan, Pomfret Community School in Pomfret Center, the Academy of Aerospace & Engineering in Rocky Hill, Timothy Edwards Middle School in South Windsor, Stafford Middle School in Stafford, Mansfield Middle School in Storrs, and Vernon Center Middle School in Vernon.