Several SASD middle school girls recently joined their mothers for the district's first Daughter/Mother Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Career Exploration Day. The girls' Technology Education/Project Lead the Way teachers selected them for the field trip based on their outstanding performance in class and their apparent interest in STEM related studies.
Women constitute 45% of the workforce in the U.S., but hold just 12% of science and engineering jobs in business and industry. The daughter/mother career exploration day hopes to help reduce the gender biases that exist in STEM related middle school and high school classes. These biases discourage our female students from pursuing their interests in STEM related areas of study and ultimately prevent them from entering careers in non-traditional occupations. This project hopes to specifically target gender biases that can be created in the home through the traditional gender models that many parents still promote and role model for their children.
The itinerary for the STEM Career Exploration Day included a visit to the Paper Discovery Center in Appleton and the Kohler Company in Kohler.
The Paper Discovery Center is housed within a historic paper mill overlooking the Fox River. A field trip to the Paper Discovery Center integrates science, art, and history with an inspiring and relevant industry example that is strongly connected to Wisconsin's heritage. The visit included a guided tour through the exhibits at the Paper Discovery Center, and exploration of papermaking and paper chemistry and its relationship to STEM, and STEM career exploration games and activities.
The host for the morning was Julie Hess, who is a UW-Stevens Point graduate in Paper Science and currently a Technical Support Specialist for Voith Paper in Appleton.
During the tour of the Kohler Company, participants visited the Kohler Design Center, the Chemical and Materials laboratory, and the Pottery Manufacturing Process
The group's host for the afternoon was Kerry Chinnock. Chinnock graduated from Michigan Tech with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering. She was a process and foundry engineer for Karl Schmidt Unisia (Marinette, WI) before coming to Kohler. At Kohler she originally worked as a Maintenance Engineer and now works in Quality Control.