Forget STEM, event at Visitation School now advocates STEAM careers for young girls

- About 100 female students from 28 different schools around the metro spent their day today at a unique conference just for 6th, 7th and 8th graders.  It’s an event many of them look forward to year after year and it exposes girls to careers in things like science, technology, math and even art.

This focus on science, technology, engineering and math started at Visitation School in St. Paul seven years ago. This year, organizers added art to help the girls see firsthand how it all fits together.

“What we are trying to do is show them all these topics are so much bigger than they imagined,” Zindy Mouny, a middle school science teacher, said. “Even art…a lot of people looked at us like art doesn’t really go with STEM, but it really does because creativity drives innovation.”

The girls rotate through several different workshops, from human created design to helping in disaster zones to summing up how fashion and math go together.

“When we make a pattern we can’t say, mmm it’s going to be about that big.  We have to calculate and measure,” Isabella Callanan, a 7th grade student a Visitation, said.

The organizers hope to generate interest in STEAM careers and other similar opportunities and teach girls that they do not have to decide between being an “engineer scientists” or an “artsy scientist,” they can be both.

“It’s just really interesting to go around and see STEM is in everything. Like no matter where you go STEM is everywhere and I think that’s a vital thing for girls, especially young girls to learn in their daily lives,” Aleah Felton, a STEAM Day alum and volunteer, said.

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