The purpose of the Unleash Your Inner STEM event series is first to help STEM students—with an emphasis on non-traditional and community college students—discover, develop, and learn to convey their own identities; and second, to research the impact of networking events on these students. Specifically, SWE—with funding from Northrop Grumman—is exploring how events like this one impact how students on the community college pathway choose majors, career paths, and internships, and equip them to succeed in male-dominated fields.
Last month’s event, based out of the Western Massachusetts area, began with a panel moderated by Prasha Dutra, engineer, speaker, and creator of the Her STEM Story podcast. The panel focused on career trajectories and the experience of being a woman in STEM and included these inspiring women:
- Maeliz Colon, first-generation engineering student, STCC graduate, and women in STEM advocate
- Marie Louis, Ph.D., engineer, data scientist and professor
- Sarah McAnulty, Ph.D., squid biologist, science communicator, and executive director of Skype a Scientist
- Frances “Poppy” Northcutt, lawyer, women’s advocate, and first woman engineer at NASA Mission Control
Check out the panel recording below and stay tuned until the end to hear about our panelists’ most fun experiences as women in STEM. Can you guess who worked on Apollo 8, the first crewed spacecraft to successfully orbit the Moon and return to Earth? What is it like to see the rollercoaster you worked on in person for the first time? Engineers make bubble wrap?!
After the panel, attendees joined small group breakout sessions, each with a different topic related to STEM and identity. Discussion topics included STEM & the LGBT community, mentoring, different STEM careers, transitioning from a community college to a 4-year college, women’s studies as a path to STEM, and more.
There are two upcoming Unleash Your Inner STEM events, each with a different panel lineup to be announced soon. Whether you come just to listen to the panel and learn from inspiring women in STEM fields or stay to connect with others in your community, we hope to see you there!
Join these upcoming Unleash Your Inner STEM events:
- Virtual STEM Outreach Experience with School Girls in Chennai
- Adult Advocate’s Avenue: Planning a Successful Virtual Outreach Event
- Meet Your Future Employer at SWE’s Virtual Career Fair This April 28th
- Viewpoint: The Ups and Downs of Virtual Meetings
- Life and Work: Building Belonging Across (Virtual) Borders
- MIT Society of Women Engineers’ Journey Into Virtual Connection