MEDWAY — Burke-Memorial Elementary School Principal Amanda Luizzi is pleased to share that female students recently had a chance to explore a variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and topics.
On Saturday, March 23, approximately 150 girls in grades two through six attended the fourth annual STEM Saturday for Girls at Burke-Memorial Elementary School. The free event was sponsored by Exelon Generation.
At the beginning of the event, students were encouraged to explore an array of science projects completed by female middle school students before moving on to participate in a series of workshops. These included a coding activity using a “bee-bot” robot made to look like a cartoon bee, tide-pool adaptations, chemistry lab, “squishy circuits” activity where students learned the principles of open and closed circuits, and an overview of the anatomy of a flounder.
“The goal of this event to show girls from a young age that they can pursue careers and interests in these subject areas,” Principal Luizzi said. “It’s all about challenging the gender stereotypes that have kept women away from these fields for generations and introducing students to female role models in STEM fields.”
A group of local STEM professionals and educators in the field also spoke to students during a panel at the event. Panelists included Sinead Bergeron, a seventh grade student at Medway Middle School and member of the Sense and Sound robotics team; Ceramic Engineer Susan Rozak; Electrical Engineer Jenn Forsyth; Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science senior Marissa Langille; Medway High School junior and aspiring doctor Amanda Heafey; and Medway High School junior Olivia Dennehy, an officer of the school’s Women in STEM club and member of the Girls Who Code club.
Several middle and high school girls volunteered at the event, sharing their knowledge and acting as role models to younger students. Members of Women in STEM (WiSTEM) club at Medway High School conducted a workshop that included a series of five short hands-on experiments, the Sound and Sense Robotics team conducted a demonstration at the start of the event, and 10 middle school student volunteers helped set up the event and assisted younger students during workshops.
Approximately 24 faculty also volunteered to support the event. The event is organization annually by a STEM Saturday for Girls Committee, which is co-chaired by Annie Colamaria and Mary Evans.
“Each year, STEM Saturday is full of excitement, fun and exploration,” Principal Luizzi said. “Thank you to all of the faculty, students, parents and community volunteers who took time to celebrate women in STEM and support our students, and for Exelon Generation for supporting us in this initiative as well.”