Inspiring America’s Youth

On September 14, Round Lake High School hosted a STEM conference for middle school girls.

One of the classes the girls took part in was creating their own app. Junior Lindsey Lubicz volunteered and helped during the process.

Round Lake High School was given the opportunity to host an educational conference for middle school girls. The conference focused on STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Attending this conference helped students learn more about the subjects that were previously seen as more “masculine.” The main goal of the conference was to not only get girls thinking about a path in STEM, but also to give them a general sense of empowerment.

Natalie Bueno is a partnership coordinator that helped to set the conference up. She is a staff member at Northwestern University and also helps run The Baxter Center for Science Education. Bueno has personal experience in STEM and hopes this conference will inspire others to try it out as well.

“I have learned to fail from STEM, and I think that’s  also the the biggest thing [I’ve learned],” Bueno said. “Especially in middle school, you want to test out different things. If a project fails, that’s great because that’s what you learn the most from.”

Gul Afshan, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at The Milwaukee School of Engineering came to talk to the girls in hopes of giving them a sense of empowerment. She hopes that exposing young girls to the idea of strength in education will encourage them to work even harder towards their goals.

“I think that we do not give enough credit to younger [generations],” Afshan said. “I think we should start talking to girls and boys at an early age to show them what is out there.”

After Afshan’s speech, the girls cycled through different classes that exposed them to the different parts of STEM. Some included building their own battery, making an app and coding.

The conference helped educate the girls and encouraged them to take all they learned home with them. These students can spread their new knowledge to their peers so they too, can be inspired.