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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Oct. 7: Girls Explore STEM Day

Event intended to foster girls' enthusiasm for science fields.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 9-30-2014

Mankato, Minn. - More than 100 girls in the 8th through 10th grades from Mankato and Twin Cities area schools are already signed up to attend Minnesota State University, Mankato’s first Girls Explore STEM day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 7 in the University’s Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The Girls Explore STEM event is intended to aid in fostering girls’ enthusiasm for science by showcasing a wide range of demonstrations, activities and conversations with the best and brightest female professionals in a variety of fields.

Any girls interested in attending the event or anyone else seeking information about the event should contact Sammie Hedwall in the Minnesota State Mankato’s Women’s Center by phone at 507-389-6147 or by email at

The event begins with a resource fair from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., during which the girls will have the opportunity to meet student groups and representatives from Minnesota State Mankato campus offices, as well as community organizations devoted to promoting STEM appreciation in today’s youth.

From 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., there will be demonstrations on Lego robotics, exploring water and water systems and anatomy and electronic technology. KEYC TV’s Mark Tarello and the Minnesota State Mankato internet technology department will provide a demonstration about weather forecasting and green screen work.

A women’s panel discussion over the lunch hour (12 p.m. to 1 p.m.) will feature speakers from a variety of professions. The panel includes Marilyn Hart, interim associate dean for the College of Science, Engineering and Technology; Laura Breeher, an occupational medicine physician; Deborah Nykanen, a professor of civil engineering at the University; and Penny Knoblich, a professor of biological sciences and department chair. After the panel discussion, girls will have the opportunity to tour campus (1 p.m. to 2 p.m.) in an effort to boost their interest in higher education and the STEM field.

Verizon Wireless is a key supporter of this event. Verizon’s campaign, Inspire Her Mind and #Inspire Her Mind, calls for a change in attitude about women interested in the STEM field. According to the campaign, women hold less than 25 percent of our country’s STEM jobs.

Other sponsors for the event include (all are Minnesota State Mankato offices, departments or colleges except where noted): the Women’s Center; the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence; the College of Science Engineering and Technology; Institutional Diversity; OASIS; KEYC Weather Team; the Mayo Clinic; the Mankato Diversity Council; and Information Technology Services.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

Minnesota State Mankato's Women's Center has provided the following additional online resources on STEM:


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