Dear Editor: Skagit STEM hosted nearly 400 girls in grades 7-9 from Skagit County public and parochial schools Tuesday, May 15, at McIntyre Hall in Mount Vernon to gain exposure to the variety of opportunities in STEM-related careers as well as careers that require computational thinking/computer science.
Several Stanwood-Camano individuals and businesses supported the event. Alex Shepler, an eighth-grade student at Port Susan Middle School and his father, Mark Shepler, recruited executives (mainly female) from central Puget Sound technology firms as speakers, along with a lead talk by Alex.
Windermere Real Estate provided both financial support and Marla Heagle as a guest speaker. Haggen freely supplied water, fruit and pastries to greet students as they arrived. Starbucks provided coffee for adults and licensed food handlers. Little Caesars opened early to provide a pizza lunch. An additional anonymous financial gift was provided.
Moreover, many parents and students, too numerous to list, supported planning and logistics during the event.
A recent Seattle Times news column outlined the ratio of male to female technology workers in Seattle as 4 of every 5. Through events such as the “Girls Tech Event: Skagit Girls, Code!” Skagit STEM endeavors to change that demographic. Helping girls see the many opportunities available through career exploration opportunities from leading female role models is just one step in that process.
I am so pleased at how so many embrace this work and support it through their time, talent and financial resources.
Thank you, Stanwood-Camano students, parents and businesses for providing so much.