Penn State Fayette hosts 5th annual STEAM event for 9th grade girls

9th Grade STEAM EVent

Ninth-grade girls from regional school districts

Credit: Penn State Fayette

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus hosted Future4U: An Exploration of STEAM Career Opportunities for Women on March 7 for the fifth consecutive year.

The event, sponsored by the Penn State Fayette Commission for Women (CFW), engages over 180 nine-grade girls from the Albert Gallatin, Connellsville, Laurel Highlands, and Uniontown school districts in a series of 30-minute, interactive workshops to develop skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM).

With exposure to career opportunities in STEAM disciplines at the ninth-grade level, students are more likely to incorporate related coursework into their high school and higher education decisions. A participant of the first workshop, held in 2014, would be completing her first year of college this semester.

A report by the Economics and Statistics Administration found that women were significantly underrepresented in STEAM fields, holding only 24 percent of jobs in 2017. Women make up only 30 percent of STEAM degree holders.

Workshops, led by Penn State Fayette faculty members, covered chemistry, biology, nursing, physical therapy, physics, mathematics, and the arts.

CFW Campus Liaison Billie Jo Yuhaniak believes the event’s five-year legacy has had an impact on the region. “We are now seeing students who attended the first STEAM events begin their college careers at Penn State Fayette,” she said.