Rockets and robots aren’t just for boys and the local American Association of University Women wants to make sure Manatee and Sarasota girls know about the opportunities open to them.
The Bradenton branch of the AAUW is hosting a daylong STEM-themed event for middle-school girls in Sarasota and Manatee. The $5 event begins with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus.
It’s the only AAUW event of its kind in Florida, said Marcia Hill, one of the organizers. Girls are often interested in science, technology, engineering and math education and projects in elementary school, but the interest from girls fades as they get older, Hill said.
“It often does not translate then into high school,” she said. “That’s what we’re hoping. Maybe it will attract them to consider that are and take some courses in high school and see really what they can do.”
By capturing girls’ attention in middle school, they are hoping to instill a passion for STEM careers.
The event also includes sessions for parents on STEM fields and be prepared to help their daughters in high school and beyond.
Holding the event is a natural for USF Sarasota-Manatee,which is growing and expanding STEM-related courses and programs, said Bonnie Jones, assistant vice president for institutional research and effectiveness.
“I see it as a win-win,” she said. “We have the kind of programs that can serve their needs right here in the community. They don’t have to leave us either for a college or a career.”
If you go
Tech savvy conference for middle-school girls hosted by the Bradenton Branch of the American Association of University Women.
What: Conference for middle-school girls to explore science and math fields.
When: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus, 8350 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
Cost: $5 includes breakfast, lunch and shirt.