INL News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2014
Female students to explore science, technology, engineering, math careers
IDAHO FALLS – Female junior high school students from around Idaho will play cybersecurity games, use chemistry and paper chromatography to solve crimes, and detect natural radiation during the eighth annual My Amazing Future workshop on March 13.
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 (IWIN) and the Idaho chapter of the America Nuclear Society.
The goal is to pique students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), expose them to 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.
“We want students to meet women who work in these fields and learn about the STEM careers available to them,” said Michelle Thiel Bingham, an INL employee who chairs the My Amazing Future steering committee. “Their future really is filled with amazing possibilities.”
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 to catch a hacker, identify density through a drink and learn about powering a deep space mission. A total of 17 different sessions will be offered at the event.
“This is meant to inspire the girls’ enthusiasm for STEM education,” said Alexandra Klug, an INL employee and My Amazing Future organizer. “I enjoy my career in a STEM field, and I want them to be exposed to fun and rewarding career options.”
The event has grown significantly since its 2007 inception, expanding from just a handful of students to some 150 eighth-graders from several Idaho cities. The number of hands-on sessions and sponsors also has grown.
This year’s sponsors include the Idaho Department of Education, Mountain View Hospital, Portage Inc., the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho State University, the Museum of Idaho, the Eastern Idaho Engineering Council, Walsh Engineering, and the Idaho chapters of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Nuclear Society.
“We are excited to expand the number of students able to attend this popular event,” Bingham said. “However, we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the continued support of INL and our increasing list of sponsors.”
This year’s event will be held at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) in Idaho Falls as well as several INL facilities.
INL is one of the DOE’s national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.