JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Women stepped out of the classroom and into the fascinating worlds of science, technology, engineering and math on Friday.
A STEM conference took place at Arkansas State University's student union.
High school students from Blytheville, Brookland and Westside participated in a variety of hands-on workshops focused on one of the fields.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics at A-State Dr. Amanda Lambertus said the purpose of the event is to open women's minds to career opportunities.
"Women are typically underrepresented in those fields," Lambertus said. "One of the things those fields have been trying to do is to get more women involved. We feel that by bringing the high school students in, it gets them interested in STEM fields and gets them thinking about the possibilities."
Christina Campbell teaches at Westside High School and was thrilled when she heard about the conference.
"This was a grand opportunity," Campbell said. "To bring them, let them get some experience and talk to some professionals and some local professionals which is even better. They don't often think about these careers being available in our area."
Blytheville High School senior Kimberly Jones said the conference definitely opened her eyes to choices she never would have known about.
"It was amazing," Jones said. "At first, I really wanted to pursue a career in the STEM program. Now, there are so many options, I'm confused. I love it. It was great. Now I want to look into pharmacy. The class we had was wonderful."
This was the first year for A-State's Rural STEM Education Center to host the conference.
The center's mission is to provide instructional support for public and private school educators.
Campbell hopes the young ladies she brought consider a new field of study for their future.
"I want them to know that they are capable," Campbell said. "That they are encouraged to take a chance and to try a STEM career. Even though it may not be their first choice, if they would just give it an opportunity. Give it a chance because I think they can excel."
Over forty young ladies attended the STEM conference.
For more information about the conference and its fields of study, click here.
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