Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Career Conference
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Career Conference is organized by the AAUW Long Beach branch and held at Long Beach City College, Liberal Arts Campus. Women with careers in science, technology, engineering and math present workshops to middle-school girls to excite them about the possibilities of such careers and to encourage them to attend college.
A dynamic keynote speaker starts the conference with a message about overcoming obstacles and reaching one’s dreams. The girls then participate in two workshops to hear the details about careers, such as architect, astrophysicist, coroner, environmental engineer, mechanical engineer, optometrist, pathologist, software engineer, speech-language or structural engineer, and to explore hands-on activities. Over the past 17 years, 2691 girls have participated in the program!
Girls are specially selected to attend by showing academic interest in STEM fields.The February 2020 Conference partnered with Franklin Classical Middle School, Hamilton Middle School, Hudson K-8 School, Muir Academy, Powell Academy for Success, Stephens Middle School and Washington Middle School to enroll, transport, and supervise these fortunate young women, many of whom are from economically challenged households. This is often the first time these girls have been on a college campus and in college classrooms.
In 2015, the branch launched a five-year longitudinal study in concert with the Long Beach Unified School District to determine the effectiveness of this STEM career conference on middle-school girls in their pursuit of math, science and technology throughout high school and their enrollment in college. The 2015 cohort of 8th-grade attendees were surveyed in Spring 2019; the 2016 cohort of 8th-grade attendees are to be surveyed in Spring 2020.
More than 60 volunteers, comprised of AAUW Long Beach members and others, provide the support to put on this dynamic conference. We wish to thank the numerous businesses and individuals who contributed items to the girls’ conference bags and especially acknowledge our nine financial sponsors for their very generous support.