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10-21-2014

New York STEAM Girls Collaborative Kick-Off Conference Features Women from Clarkson University

Representatives from Clarkson University are kicking off the New York STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Girls Collaborative with other women in STEM fields from across the state.

Mary Margaret Small, Shipley Center for Innovation Educational Partnerships director and coordinator of the North Country STEM Network, left, and civil engineering student Lauren Hall '15 will attend the New York STEAM Girls Collaborative Kick-Off Conference.New York STEAM Girls Collaborative officially launches the statewide collaborative with a conference on Saturday, Oct. 25, to bring together representatives from organizations across New York State to discuss exemplary practices, develop new collaborations and share resources for connecting girls to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs. The event takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hudson Valley Community College's TEC-SMART at 345 Hermes Road in Malta, N.Y.

Mary Margaret Small, Shipley Center for Innovation Educational Partnerships director and coordinator of the North Country STEM Network, is serving on the NY STEAM Girls Collaborative Board of Champions. Civil engineering student Lauren Hall '15 also will join a panel discussion about what girls enjoy and recommend about STEM.
The conference is open to all individuals and organizations, including afterschool providers, school administrators, engineers, technical professionals, business partners, members of professional organizations, K-12 educators and university staff. Conference fee is $25 and includes lunch and parking. To register for the conference, visit http://www.ngcproject.org/ny-steam-kick-conference .

NY STEAM Girls Collaborative provides an opportunity for STEM programs to be able to maintain interested and participation of girls in STEM programs in New York without competing for the same resources. The purpose of the conference is to create a strong network of leading organizations and influential individuals that support girls to succeed in STEM activities across the state and foster collaboration among those organizations.

"If we look at where jobs of the future are that will allow an individual to have a middle class or upper-middle class existence, they're in the STEM disciplines," Small said. "I think it's important to do everything we can to encourage our young women to prepare themselves to enter the work world."
Small said research shows that women are interested in entering fields that help humanity, but STEM disciplines often are not seen as improving the lives of people. She said that perception needs to change so that STEM fields become more inclusive.

"The goal of engineering is to solve the problems of humanity. We need to make that connection for girls," she said. "If we're not using the skills and talents of that population, we're not serving humanity as a whole."

Small said the collaborative reflects Clarkson's commitment to its female students and engaging more women in STEM disciplines. One way NY STEAM Girls Collaborative will provide that support is through grants for local STEM projects.

"As the collaborative moves forward, we're going to see a number of regional events that will give girls the opportunity to experience math, science and engineering in informal settings such as summer camps and weekend activities," she said.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Mary Margaret Small, Shipley Center for Innovation Educational Partnerships director and coordinator of the North Country STEM Network, left, and civil engineering student Lauren Hall '15 will attend the New York STEAM Girls Collaborative Kick-Off Conference.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/msmall-lhall.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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