WACO — When it comes to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees, females comprise less than 15 percent of the student body and have over the last 10 years at Texas State Technical College. TSTC is not alone. Across the nation, attracting females to STEM programs – and retaining them – has always been a challenge.
At the University of Texas’ Cockrell School of Engineering, enrollment averages 22 percent women at the undergraduate level and 20 percent women at the graduate level. It’s one of the reasons UT established the Women in Engineering Program (WEP) in 1992.
TSTC, a long-time supporter of women in technology, has established a number of programs to assist females and support them in a male-dominated environment. To that end, the college will host a workshop and forum for students and faculty, along with local K-12 administrators and teachers and various community leaders on Tuesday, July 17, on the Waco campus.
Guest workshop presenter, Tricia Berry, is the director of the Women in Engineering Program at UT Austin and concurrently serves as director of the Texas Girls Collaborative Project, which connects Texas organizations, companies and individuals working to advance gender equality in STEM fields.
From 3 to 5:30 p.m., Berry will lead a SciGirls Educator Workshop in the Murray Watson Jr. Student Recreation Center. The workshop, based on SciGirls, a PBS KIDS weekly series and website, will teach educators about the latest research for engaging girls (and boys) in STEM and offer hands-on activities.
Then, from 6 to 8 p.m., Waco area organizations, schools and individuals involved in STEM outreach and recruitment will attend an Outreach Forum led by Barry that will offer networking opportunities and teach participants about resources available to assist them in their efforts.
A fajita dinner will be provided at the forum, which will be held in the Greta W. Watson Culinary Arts Center.
To attend either of these events or find out more, contact Sheryl Kattner-Allen at (254) 744-7813.