BY JOE HOSHAW Jr.
More than a dozen middle school students from Trenton and Grosse Ile participated in the AAUW Wyandotte- Downriver branch’s STEM Savvy event earlier this spring at Wayne County Community College District campus in Taylor.
STEM Savvy is a daylong science, technology, engineering and math (“STEM”) conference designed to attract girls in sixth through ninth grades to these fields and to increase their awareness of the variety of science-oriented career choices that are available nearby.
Hands-on workshops were attended by 120 students from 18 area middle schools, and sessions were presented by area women who are succeeding in their respective professional fields.
Students from Boyd Arthur Middle School were Avery DeSana, Scout Dunaway, Andi Ford-Learman, Olivia Kellems, Hannah Martin, Sabrina Pack and Daejah Ware. Their adult chaperones were Brooke Tucker and Betsy Tinsley.
Grosse Ile Middle School students participating were Alia Bast, Skye Livingston, Madison Miller, Zoe Neilson, Sydney Peyton and Annie Wozniak. Katie Muliett was the adult chaperone.
The keynote speaker at the event was Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO of Detroit’s Michigan Science Center, and the closing speaker was Patricia Majher, author of Girls in Michigan History, selected as one of the Michigan Notable Books of 2016.
Dr. Rebekah Harris, owner of Trenton Veterinary Hospital, conducted a workshop called “Tails of a Vet.” She said she knew at a young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian and now feels there is no career more rewarding.
Kelly Johnson, Trenton resident and environmental science major at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, presented a workshop on “Mighty Mini Forests.”
“My academic road has offered many new opportunities and adventures for me, including traveling to Costa Rica and Nicaragua for species diversity and conservation research,” she said.
Patricia Smart, a pilot residing on Grosse Ile, also assisted with a workshop.
Since 2014, the local AAUW branch will have encouraged more than 425 Downriver girls to expand their horizons and challenge their abilities in science and math. An important objective of Tech Savvy programs across the nation is increased placement of women into critical, high-paying and challenging careers.
For further information, contact Chairperson Mary Sue Sickafus at (734) 675-8501.