Pennsylvania Commission for Women Hosts National STEM Day Event

November 08, 2021

Today, the Pennsylvania Commission for Women hosted a National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Day Event at the Pennsylvania State Museum to highlight women in various STEM careers and encourage girls to consider a future in STEM. The commission received thirteen video submissions from women across the Commonwealth. Each video showcases the women describing the work they do, their educational journey and why they chose to have a career in STEM.

The Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania partnered with the commission to bring girls to the Pennsylvania State Museum to participate in STEM-related activities provided by the Pennsylvania State Library. The video submissions have been uploaded to YouTube and the Pennsylvania Commission for Women’s website, so girls across the state can watch and learn about careers in STEM. Everyone is welcome to watch and share!

“The goal of this project is to allow girls and young women to explore STEM opportunities and spark their interest in pursuing a career in STEM,” said Commission for Women Executive Director Moriah Hathaway. We know that women are less likely to have careers in STEM, so we wanted to be a part of the solution by hosting this event. We know that if we introduce girls at an early age to STEM opportunities, they are more likely to enjoy STEM subjects and feel empowered to consider a career in STEM. We are hoping that the girls feel inspired by the videos that were sent in and can envision themselves enjoying similar jobs in their future.”

Governor and First Lady Wolf were also in attendance at the event. They offered remarks, encouraging the girls to pursue their STEM interests, and commending the Commission for their work.

“Investing in STEM education and workforce development is a top priority for my administration, which is why I launched the innovative PAsmart program in 2018,” said Gov. Wolf. “If we want a commonwealth that is competitive economically, then we need a workforce that is ready for the careers of tomorrow. But as long as racial and gender gaps persist in STEM education and careers, Pennsylvania isn’t living up to its full potential. Thank you to the Commission for Women and their partners for using STEM Day to put a spotlight on this issue, and for helping girls all across Pennsylvania learn about STEM, connect to mentors and envision future STEM careers for themselves.”

“Many of the jobs of the future are STEM related, and it’s vital that our women and girls are equipped with the skills and confidence to pursue them and close the gender gap we know exists in these fields,” said First Lady Wolf. “The Wolf Administration continues to support this effort through initiatives like PAsmart, and I am beyond excited to see the Commission for Women building on this by connecting young girls with successful, professional women in STEM and encouraging them to strive for their goals. It is empowering and inspiring, and I am looking forward to more great work from the commission.”

Sarah Greene, Director of the Bureau of State Library said, “The State Library of Pennsylvania is a proud supporter of STEM education and the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. The State Library engages with community partners and Pennsylvania libraries to encourage the incorporation of STEM into diverse library programs.  During the National STEM Day event, State Library staff will be guiding Girl Scouts in microscopy, fossils, robotics and some simple coding, fostering a love of science and learning.”

“The need for STEM talent has never been greater.  It is an economic imperative for us to encourage as many girls and women to be part of the innovation economy to grow and sustain our businesses in our state.  Also, these jobs are well paying, creating economic stability for the girls’ future,” said Commissioner and Chief Marketing Officer of Chariot Solutions, Tracey Welson-Rossman.

“We are very excited to be a part of National STEM Day and the activities being held at the State Museum on Nov. 8,” said Janet Donovan, President and CEO of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. “As one of the four pillars in Girl Scouting, STEM programs – girl-focused STEM programs — lead to critical thinkers, better grades and the foundation for a successful future. We are so proud to be part of that experience.”

Video submissions were received from the women listed below:

  • Ivy Qin, Senior Director of Engineering, Kulicke and Soffa Industries, Inc.
  • Dr. Usha Rao, Director, Office of Teaching and Learning & Associate Professor, Environmental Geochemistry at Saint Joseph’s University 
  • Jumoke Dada, Founder, Tech Women Network & HUE Tech Summit
  • Laura Felix, Research Project Manager for Project ECHO at Penn State Health
  • Sweta Shah, Functional Analyst, TestingXperts
  • Angel Brown, Post Grad Marketing Intern, Nerd Street Gamers
  • Amanda Keener Hammond, Owner and Operator, My Girlfriend’s Wardrobe
  • Tiara Evans, Associate Scientist (Toxicology), Quest Diagnostics
  • Dr. Melissa D. Lane, Senior Scientist, Fibernetics LLC
  • Lauren Forster, Environmental Education Specialist Supervisor, Bureau of State Parks, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
  • Rebecca Bowen, Ecological Program Manager, Bureau of Forestry, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
  • Stacy Pagán, IT Project Manager, UPMC
  • Danica Pascavage, Philadelphia Outreach Manager, TechGirlz
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