Editor’s note: After the publication of the article below, the location of the event was moved to Sheboygan South High School. Here is the updated information for the event:
The fourth annual Sheboygan Branch of the American Association of University Women – University of Wisconsin Sheboygan County Foundation Girls STEM Conference event on Saturday, Nov. 6 has been relocated to Sheboygan South High School. The event, which is designed for sixth through ninth-grade girls, will run as originally planned from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. with masks required for all participants. Registration is still open by visiting http://urezsignup.com/event/register.php?event_id=491121 or calling Dolcye Johnson at 920-458-5819.
After a one-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sheboygan Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has once again teamed up with the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan County Foundation to hold the fourth annual Girls STEM Day Conference Saturday, Nov. 6, at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus, located at 1 University Drive in Sheboygan, Wis.
The popular event, which is co-chaired annually by Sheboygan Branch AAUW members Dolcye Johnson and Allyson Olivier, is designed to introduce and engage sixth through ninth-grade girls to the wonders of STEM by showcasing the vital and continuously evolving core fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
The conference, which runs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., features 11 different STEM-inspiring sessions, along with a presentation from keynote speaker UW-Green Bay Resch School of Engineering Professor Dr. Patricia A. Terry from 8:30-9 a.m.
In accordance with COVID-19 safety protocols, all Girls STEM Day Conference attendees will be required to wear a mask during the event.
“Our goal with the Girls STEM Day Conference is to encourage young girls to discover, explore and learn from STEM field experts in a wide range of specialty areas related to careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” Johnson said. “Since 2006, AAUW has taken on an initiative to empower girls to pursue careers in STEM fields. This initiative has taken several forms on a national level. Here in Sheboygan County, we are doing it through this conference.
“We started the Girls STEM Day Conference four years ago in 2017 and 94 girls attended our last event in 2019,” Olivier said. “Our goal is 100 girls this year. This year we will again offer a keynote speech and the girls can choose three out of 11 hands-on STEM-based sessions.”
The conference features an impressive list of STEM field experts, including Terry, who is the leader of UW-Green Bay’s Resch College of Engineering, which includes course work in engineering, computer science and mathematics. Terry joined the UW-Green Bay Department of Applied and Natural Sciences faculty for the fall 1995 semester and earned tenure at the university in 2001 before attaining full professor distinction in 2011. In August 2018, Terry earned the UW-Green Bay Founders Award for Institutional Development for her work in creating engineering programs, campus leadership and dedication to shared governance.
Conference participants will have the opportunity to choose three of 11 available 45-minute STEM sessions running between 9:15 a.m. and noon.
The STEM sessions over a diverse range of topics including architectural design (Architecture – Design Slam presented by Kurt Davis of Abacus Architects, Emma Gill and Tonya Dittman of Performa Inc.), computer software design (Hello World presented by Laura Lienau, software engineer manager), drone photography (Drone Photography and product development presented by Michael Olivier, professional drone photographer), robotics (Robotics Challenge presented by John Papenheim, owner of roboticsisfun.com), veterinary science (A Look Inside the Biovine Hide presented by Dr. Ellen Hooker, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture veterinarian), forensic science (Forensic Science presented by Sheboygan Police Officer Kehoe), DNA science (What is DNA? presented by Gina Macek of MilliporeSigma), applied chemistry (Chem Demons presented by UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan County Professor James Kabrhal), food science (Favor the Flavor presented by R&D Associate Scientist Becca Stayner and Jane Kettler, Johnsonville environmental leader), the science of color and appearance (The Science of Color presented by Kohler Co. staff members Jennifer Tarplee, Stephanie Soendker, Rachel Feldmann and Katerina Revelis) and hydroponic gardens (Hydroponics presented by Plymouth High School agriscience teacher Tracy Heinbuch).
“We have a wonderful group of expert presenters, who are working in these STEM fields with many years of experience,” Johnson said. “We have middle school and high school teachers, professors, police officers, veterinarians, engineers, product managers and developers and business owners that will be leading the STEM sessions.
“The presenters are genuinely happy to teach these sessions and the girls are so eager to learn,” she said. “It is fun to witness all the excitement that these sessions generate. The best thing is that they are all hands-on too. The girls actually get to experience what it is like to do these types of careers. Four of the sessions covering Architecture – Design Slam, Hydroponics, The Science of Color and Favor the Flavor – are new for this year.”
Two parent sessions will also be featured. Representatives from the Sheboygan Area School District social worker team will present a parent session titled “Impacts of COVID on the Mental Wellness of Middle School Students” from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and the other parent session titled “College Prep 101,” which will be led by UW-Green Bay staff, runs from 10:30-12 p.m.
The deadline to register is Friday, Oct. 29.
Sponsors for this year’s event include Benninghaus Family Foundation, Grover Family Foundation, Feingold Family Foundation, H.C. Denison, Nemschoff Chairs Inc., Masters Gallery Foods and Polyfab Corp.
In-kind donors are JoAnn Gadicke, Judy Hangartner, Johnston’s Bakery, Masters Gallery Foods, Old Wisconsin Sausage Co. and Z Spot Expresso & Coffee.
Founded in 1881, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances equity by empowering women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.
The Sheboygan Branch of AAUW grants scholarships each year to non-traditional women students. In 2021, Sheboygan Branch of AAUW distributed four $2,500 scholarships to local non-traditional women working toward a college degree.
Now in its 43rd year, the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan County Foundation supports the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus by providing resources to ensure its success and excellence. The foundation works to enhance the university’s image within the community, broaden its base of financial support and communicate to the public its responsiveness to local needs.
To register or for more information on the Girls STEM Day Conference, visit http://urezsignup.com/event/register.php?event_id=491121 or call Sheboygan Branch AAUW member and Girls STEM Day Conference Co-Chair Dolcye Johnson at 920-458-5819.