Updated March 29 at 6:27pm

Middle school girls explore STEM at expo

Middle school girls learned about opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math fields at Tech Collective’s sixth annual STEM in the Middle Girls’ Career Expo.

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Middle school girls explore STEM at expo

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PROVIDENCE – Middle school girls learned about opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math fields at Tech Collective’s sixth annual STEM in the Middle Girls’ Career Expo.

Held Nov. 4 at the Rhode Island STEM Center at Rhode Island College, 125 middle school students and 10 educators from Sophia Academy, Woonsocket Middle School, Paul Cuffee Middle School and Central Falls’ Calcutt Middle School participated.

“The middle school years represent a crucial time of exploration and self-discovery for girls,” Carol Giuriceo, director of the Rhode Island STEM Center at Rhode Island College, said in a statement. “STEM in the Middle exposes them to new experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Hopefully, when the girls return to their schools, they will have a more comprehensive understanding of and connection to STEM and STEAM.”

Students attended three interactive STEM workshops throughout the morning that were designed and facilitated by female industry professionals, RIC faculty and students from William M. Davies Jr. Career and Tech Center in Lincoln and North Kingstown High School.

Viviana Barrientos from Davies Career and Tech Center and Sophie Girard from North Kingstown High School facilitated two of the engineering session workshops. Last year, they won a Tech Collective/URI Scholarship essay contest at GRRL Tech – the essay topic was designing a hands-on STEM-related workshop for middle school girls.

Workshop topics included computer science, cosmology, biotechnology, engineering, environmental science and engineering, marine science, wearable technology and laser printing.

The expo was funded through a Real Jobs Rhode Island grant and was sponsored by IBM and Dassault Systemes Simulia.

In addition to RIC and Dassault, companies and organizations that participated in the expo were: Amgen, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Ocean Exploration Trust at the University of Rhode Island, NASA, Fidelity Investments, Hasbro Inc., State Police and TEALs.

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