||April 18, 2013
||Bonnie Hughes, Communications Officer, 509-865-8588 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
University event encourages middle school girls to take on STEM studies
Toppenish, WA — More than 250 middle school girls are gathering at Heritage University for a Saturday filled with science and fun in April. The event, Expanding Your Horizons is being offered through a partnership between Heritage University and the University of Washington GEAR UP program.
"Careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields are growing at a rate that outpaces the number of young people preparing to enter these areas. The opportunities available are huge, especially for women. While women make up nearly half of the overall workforce, they only account for about 12% of the scientists and engineers in the industry," said Alison Hutchinson, event program chair.
Expanding Your Horizons aims to turn these numbers around by building girls' excitement for STEM fields at an early age. It matches seventh and eighth grade girls with a cadre of volunteer mentors, professional women working in STEM fields in the greater Central Washington region. These mentors take the girls through hands-on workshops such as video game design, analyzing soil samples, looking at the human body and working with a prosthetic arm, and talk to them about their own career path.
"At the end of the day we want these girls to think 'I can do that too'" said Hutchinson.
Expanding Your Horizons is being held on the Heritage campus in Toppenish in Smith Family Hall on Saturday, April 27 from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Middle school girls sign up to participate through their school science program. Volunteers to serve as mentors can call Hutchinson at 509-865-8539 for more information.