On Saturday, April 14, West Middle School in Grand Junction held their first annual Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) conference. The purpose of the program was to inspire young women to consider pursuing STEM careers and to allow them to interact with women STEM professionals. Student participants attended a series of 3 workshops. The teams of girls were then asked to solve specific problems by developing solutions and prototypes using a STEM approach. At the end of the day, the teams of girls presented ("pitched") their projects to a panel of judges that consisted of professional women from various STEM fields.
Thanks to her accomplished career that began as a chemist, GMO Outreach volunteer Nancy McGuire participated as one of the judges! Additionally, as a way to drum up excitement about STEM and about the observatory two of GMO Director Terry Hancock's astrophotos, which were taken at Grand Mesa Observatory, were donated to the event and given away as door prizes. Heidi Ragsdale (STEM Educator, MESA Program Coordinator, and passionate advocated for astronomy on the Western Slope) first removed the prints from their gift bags to show them to the audience and to impress upon everyone that these images were taken locally... And impress they did!
Grand Mesa Observatory is proud to have supported this wonderful event and hopes to be back for year 2!