USF-SM Hosts STEM Summit May 22

SARASOTA, May 17, 2010 – This Saturday, May 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., middle school girls from Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, DeSoto, and other counties within the state will come to the USF Sarasota-Manatee to learn about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) at a one day summit. 


The summit, which is in its second year, has gone from having 45 girls at last year’s event to over 200 this year. The event will take place at USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.


The USF Sarasota-Manatee Girls S.T.E.M. Summit was designed to encourage middle school girls to pursue their academic goals in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and to provide them with the resources they need to achieve academic and economic success. 


The girls participating in this year’s summit will:


Hear from a panel of speakers regarding careers in several of the S.T.E.M. fields.  Panelists include a neurological veterinarian, a biochemist, the assistant principal of Booker Middle School, a nurse, and a civil engineer.


Participate in hands-on activities including collecting their own DNA, finding out what makes an airplane fly, and learning about the physics and math behind moving a slinky, among several others.


Attend a career fair featuring Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Tropicana, Take Care Home House, and Vertex, among others.


Take part in specialized break-out workshops, including “Are You Smarter Than a Fourth-Grade Boy?,” “Be a Technology Apprentice!,” “Diving In: The Ocean World,” “Fly into Mechanical Engineering,” “How to Squeeze 18 Oranges through a Straw,” “Health Care Careers – Exciting, Never Boring!,” “Nutrition & Wellness,” and “Why Aren’t Trees Pink?,” among several others.


Parents and/or guardians will also be offered a workshop designed to provide information regarding class scheduling, internships and career choices in the S.T.E.M. fields.


The summit was originally developed by Valerie Connors, a recent USFSM graduate who received her degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with cognates in Women’s Studies and Social Work.  Valerie was the student affiliate at USFSM for the American Association of University Women (AAUW), who awarded USFSM with a $5,000 grant to host this year’s summit. The grant is the highest awarded grant by AAUW for Campus Action Projects.  Connors will attend the AAUW/NASPA National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in Washington, DC from June 3-5 to present the program.


Information about the S.T.E.M. Summit can be found online at: 


USF Sarasota-Manatee is an upper-level university for those with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree interested in pursuing a baccalaureate or master’s degree, professional certification, or continuing education credit.  USFSM offers the prestige of a nationally ranked research university with the convenience of a hometown university, including classes in south Sarasota County.