The MTSU Women in STEM Center is using a $10,000 grant from the American Association of University Women Foundation to eventually expose at least 1,000 Southern girls to career possibilities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
The AAUW Foundation awarded the 2012-13 Community Action Grant last year, with some of the funds used for upcoming events at MTSU, including the Feb. 6-8 Girls Raised in Tennessee Science (GRITS) Collaborative Project Annual Conference.
The WISTEM Center received the grant to help bring awareness of STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — as a potential career option for young girls through events like Expanding Your Horizons conferences and organizations who bring awareness of STEM to the girls they serve.
Expanding Your Horizons, or EYH, conferences are held at MTSU in the fall, in Memphis and other Tennessee cities, across the South and the rest of the nation. They encourage girls and young women to pursue STEM careers.
“The grant will allow us to be able to share with others the success we’ve had” with the Expanding Your Horizon conferences, said Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, an MTSU chemistry professor and director of the MTSU WISTEM Center. “It’s important because we see girls who came to campus as fifth graders through our EYH now studying STEM in college.”
The Feb. 6-8 conference, which will be held in the Tom H. Jackson Building on campus, has a theme of “Building STEM Capacity for Girls in the South.” It is open to individuals and groups with a strong interest in promoting STEM to girls. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTGRITS2013.