STEMinist event at Gulfport High guides girls toward future careers
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Building a CO² dragster was an engineering challenge accepted by ninth-grade ladies at the Future STEMinists event at Gulfport High School. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“My inspiration for the car is I painted it purple because that’s my favorite color, and I put a ‘C’ on it because I’m Caroline. It was fairly easy to build, but the bottom piece was difficult,” said Caroline Snyder, Biloxi High School ninth grader.
Female mentors from places like Mississippi Power and several engineering firms were on hand to guide the students and open up future career path options.
“I went to Gulfport High School and graduated in 2010, and the STEM program was not here when I was here. When I got to college, I got introduced to civil engineering and just loved it,” said Maddie Pettry, Simpkins and Costelli structural engineer.
Pettry and others shared their challenges as women working to break the mold on career stereotypes.
“When I joined robotics in high school, I was the only girl on my team, and I felt a bit like a mascot when I went to competition in the sense that there weren’t that many girls,” said Kristen Rorabaugh, an engineer with Brown, Mitchell and Alexander. “I don’t think that should be the norm, and I really think that seeing more female engineers here and seeing more female workers here encourages these girls and normalizes that you are capable of designing and thinking complexly and you can create awesome things, too.”
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