JSNN Hosts Find Your STEM Conference for Middle, High School Girls

By Jamie Crockett / 02/20/2020 Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Feb. 20, 2020) – The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) hosted approximately 80 middle and high school girls and their parents on Feb. 15 as part of the third annual Find Your STEM conference presented by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Greensboro chapter.

The conference, filled with student-led activities, was designed to help other young scientists explore STEM pathways. JSNN Dean Sherine Obare, Ph.D., whose scientific contributions were recognized by the American Chemical Society last year, kicked off the event with opening remarks.

“You have the opportunity to create knowledge that will last far longer than your now,” Obare said. “Consider what your legacy will be, and when you leave this earth, leave it better than you found it.”

Obare encouraged attendees to use their knowledge and passions to solve global challenges including food insecurity, human rights violations and terrorism.

“We are on a mission to empower women and girls,” said Lena Murrill Chapman, president of the AAUW Greensboro chapter. “Activities and conferences like these encourage local students to start thinking early about STEM education.”

The conference also included tours of the research facility and equipment at JSNN, poster sessions and a panel of high school students who offered advice to their peers who are either curious or have already started on their STEM journey. 

Cayden Neal, an eighth-grade student at Lincoln Academy, is already well on her way to pursuing a career in cybersecurity. Cayden Neal pursuing a career in cybersecurity

“I’ve taken classes to learn JavaScript and other programs because I’m interested in majoring in game design and computer science,” said Neal. “It’s uplifting to see other people like me wanting to learn more about these types of careers.”

Cayden’s mother, Cheri Neal, joined the AAUW to encourage her daughter and help support others along the way.

“I saw my daughter was interested in computer science and attended a STEM-related conference last year, so I had to get involved,” said Cheri Neal. “It’s amazing to see our students mentor, train and teach each other. They definitely are our future.“

Parents also participated in a session which discussed different apprenticeship and internship opportunities in Guilford County and across the state.

Media Contact Information: jicrockett@ncat.edu