UW hosting Women in STEM Conference

WYOMING – Students from both Pinedale and Big Piney are a few of the 600 junior and senior high school female students who have signed up for the University of Wyoming’s Women in STEM Conference later this month.

This year’s Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Conference is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. It’s designed to spark students’ passion in STEM field and provide the students with mentors and role models. The conference, now in its 22nd year, formerly was known as the Women in Science Conference.

Assistant research scientist at the University of Wyoming’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and associate director for the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium, Megan Candelaria, stressed the importance of the conference for young women throughout the state.

“Our goals for this conference are to provide role models for young women and provide them with information about majors and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Candelaria said. “We also have tentatively planned a virtual event for Friday, May 20, to accommodate those who cannot travel to Laramie.”

Holly Krutka, the executive director of the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources, will make a brief introduction before attendees participate in various workshops. The conference, in total, will offer 28 hands-on workshops where each participant will engage in three workshops and have the opportunity to meet professionals who engage with science on a daily basis.

Volunteers from the university and regional organizations will present workshops on a variety of science and technology-related topics, including wildlife forensics, exploring the brain, women in energy, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, microscopy, atoms, UW’s campus geology, palm oil in daily lives, wildlife diseases, satellite imaging, fossil fish, women in astronomy, drones, plant propagation, women in wildlife and the Shell 3D Visualization Center.

Workshops will take place across the university’s campus at various buildings.

Most schools are expected to register before the event. As of Wednesday, May 4, there were 75 students on the event’s wait list, Candelaria said.

More information on the Women in STEM Conference can be found at www.wyomingspacegrant.org/k12programs/women-in-stem/.