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My Amazing Future

June 22, 2020

By INL Media Relations

INL News Release
March 10, 2016

Misty Benjamin, 208-351-9900, [email protected]
Laura Scheele, 219-381-8672, [email protected]

Female students engage STEM career options

IDAHO FALLS – On Friday, March 11, Idaho National Laboratory will host the 9th annual My Amazing Future event for eighth-grade young women to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Students participate in a full day of hands-on sessions designed to be educational and engaging. The sessions will illustrate how a STEM education translates into exciting career options. The teens will have an opportunity explore topics such as: Fun with 3D Geometry, Our Amazing Bodies, Radiation and Life, Phenomenal Physics and more. A total of 17 sessions will be offered at the event.

The eighth-graders from Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Firth, Fort Hall and Pocatello will participate in the daylong event organized by employees at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory with support from Idaho Women in Nuclear and the Idaho chapter of the American Nuclear Society.

The goal is to pique students’ interest in STEM careers and encourage them to interact with the scientists and engineers who present – many of whom are female.

Teachers select students based on their interest in math and science, and other factors. Organizers also target schools with larger populations of minority and disadvantaged students.

“One of the biggest challenges the lab and industry as a whole face is developing the workforce of the future,” said INL Director Mark Peters. “It’s vital that we engage students now and make sure they are aware of the incredible opportunities right here in Idaho along with the education and training needed to take advantage of them.”

Dr. Anna-Maria McGowan, senior engineer for Complex Systems Design at NASA-Langley, will speak via webcast during lunch. McGowan has more than 23 years of experience in aerospace research and leadership, and has received many awards, including a National Women of Color Technical Innovation award in Government and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal.

In her current role, McGowan leads NASA’s initiatives to develop methods for designing and engineering complex systems. She serves as an agency technical advisor and collaborates with researchers outside of NASA to advance interdisciplinary research, design and development of methods that address increasing complexities in aerospace systems.

“My Amazing Future provides a unique opportunity to increase STEM awareness among young women, expose them to careers in various disciplines and provide them an opportunity to interact with professionals that work in the field,” said Michelle Thiel Bingham, chair of the My Amazing Future steering committee.

My Amazing Future has grown significantly since its 2007 inception, expanding from just a handful of students to more than 150 eighth-graders from several Idaho cities. The number of hands-on sessions and sponsors also has grown.

“INL is honored to host this event and have the opportunity to inspire so many intelligent young women,” said Bingham. “I also appreciate all the wonderful support from our sponsors whose commitment demonstrates their dedication in increasing opportunities for our youth.”

This year’s sponsors include Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Mountain View Hospital, Museum of Idaho, Portage Inc., Idaho State University, University of Idaho, Idaho Department of Education and Walsh Engineering.

This year’s event will be held at the Energy Innovation Laboratory (EIL) meeting center in Idaho Falls and includes demonstrations at several INL facilities.

Note to Editors:

EIL is located at 775 University Blvd., and the meeting center entrance is at the south end of the building.

To view a complete bio for Dr. Anna-Maria McGowan, click here.


About Idaho National Laboratory

Battelle Energy Alliance manages INL for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development, celebrating 75 years of scientific innovations in 2024. The laboratory performs research in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and the environment. 

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Posted June 22, 2020

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