California College Hosts Event for Girls in STEAM

Sierra College in the Sacramento, CA suburb of Rocklin held its third annual Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) event recently in an effort to encourage high school girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).

The 125 girls from high schools around the Sacramento area listened to a keynote presentation from a group of professional women in nontraditional professions and then attended workshops where they got to work on projects involving everything from welding and mechatronics to art for video games and drafting.

During lunch, the students participated in group discussions with women who shared their thoughts about working in professions that involve STEAM subjects.

"We have so many resources to help you succeed in math and other classes at Sierra College," said college math faculty member Katie Lucero at the beginning of the lunch. "Be persistent and take advantage of tutoring."

The keynote panel presentations were arranged by Gina Lujan, co-founder of the Hacker Lab on the Sierra campus, a facility that offers work space, courses, meet-ups and events, all designed to get college students and others in the area interested in STEAM subjects.

"My passion is helping people dream big, learn, discover and do cool things," Lujan said during the panel discussion. "Dream, discover and do to find your passion."

Jennifer Issac, a science teacher at Del Oro High School in Loomis, CA, whose students participated, said, "What makes this program so special are the amazing speakers from nontraditional fields and the hands-on activities in the college labs. Many young ladies told us that their interests have changed because of this program."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.