Local high school girls explore career paths | News, Sports, Jobs

Staff Photo/Bob Coupland Dr. Elizabeth Mann, professor of physics at Kent State University in Trumbull, left, watches Hubbard High School student Sierra Ray participate in a bubble-blowing physics activity at the Friday STEM TC Conference for High School Girls to learn more about careers in STEM and medicine. The event brought together more than 23 guest speakers and presenters sharing information on careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

CHAMPION – Area high school students had the opportunity to meet and hear from women working in science, technology, engineering and math careers and learn about the education and training they received to enter these fields.

On Friday, Kent State University at Trumbull hosted its STEM TC Conference, inviting high school girls to spend the day on campus and hear from professors, guest speakers and area professionals.

Dr. Valerie Cubon-Bell, STEM TC director and chemistry teacher, said the one-day conference invites girls in grades 10 through 12 from Trumbull County high schools who are interested in STEM careers.

“We are delighted that it has returned. We have over 23 female professionals in STEM careers as well as in the medical field. Each speaker inspires young women to pursue STEM studies and learn more about STEM,” said Cubon-Bell.

The event was last held in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic prevented the event in 2020 and 2021.

Cubon-Bell said the conference began more than 15 years ago to pique girls’ interest in pursuing careers in science, engineering and technology as well as the medical field.

“We want them to leave here today thinking about what it means to have a STEM degree and the opportunities available to them with a STEM degree. Today’s speakers share their own personal experiences from their STEM journeys,” said Cubon-Bell.

She said students can select four different speakers to listen to throughout the day in addition to the keynote speakers, – Dr. Pamela McCauley of North Carolina State University, an internationally renowned industrial engineering researcher; and Gina Govojdean, Senior Director, Metal Strategy and Operational Excellence for Titanium Mill at Howmet Aerospace.

Professor Jill Tall spoke about the field of biology while Professor Elizabeth Mann spoke about careers in physics, each with hands-on learning activities for students.

The high school students each had their own perspective on what the day’s events meant to them.

Dari Drake, a sophomore from Newton Falls, said she loves hearing about careers in engineering.

She said the day gave her ideas for possible college programs.

“When she talked about being in engineering, I saw myself doing that as a career,” said Drake.

Lauryn Bervish, a sophomore from Newton Falls, said she enjoys receiving information about the education and training needed for different career fields.

Newton Falls sophomore Emilia Colosimo said: “I like to hear the various speakers tell their story and what they do in their lives. It was very stimulating. I really liked the criminal intelligence program and the medical careers.

Elizabeth Smallsreed from Southington said she learned about the different career opportunities in science and technology.

“I think it was good that they organized this day for us. It gave me a better understanding of what career I might want to go into. Sophomores and juniors are still thinking about what they want make of their future, said Rachel Krukowski of Southington.

Sidney Orlandi, a sophomore in Newton Falls, said she thought the speakers were very inspirational and showed her how to become “an independent and successful woman.”

Part of the day included campus tour and meeting “Shine,” the college mascot eagle.

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