NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Last Friday, 30 female students from Isaac E. Young Middle School traveled to the Tarrytown facility of Regeneron – an international biotech company – to participate in an event packed full of hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities. The school field trip was organized in concert with Regeneron and Girls Inc. of New York City, the local chapter of an organization that has been advocating for girls since 1864, with the mission to “inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.”
Women scientists from Regeneron directed hands-on experimentation stations that invited the eager participants to use, and build upon, knowledge they have acquired in the classroom.
“I love that this was for girls, by women,” said Kerly Bustillos, world language educator at IEYMS and the school’s Girls Inc. coordinator. “It was really such a strong message, for the girls to see women in these roles and know they could do it, too.”
There were six guided experiments in all, which were titled: Energy in Motion, Strawberry DNA, Cracking the Code, How to Make Salt Dance, To the Moon & Back, and Healthy Habit Organelles.
“The girls loved it, and I couldn’t imagine a better way to introduce them to careers in science and technology,” said Bustillos. “The hands-on nature of the day had the girls engaged and excited the whole time, at every station!”
One might say the enthusiastically enquiring minds from IEYMS were evidence that New Rochelle’s districtwide encouragement of girls to pursue STEM subjects is proving effective. The timing is pretty good too. The US Department of Education reports that the number of STEM jobs in the country will continue to grow faster than the national average for jobs across all sectors into the year 2020 and beyond.