Careers with Math Options hosts 300 female seventh graders

READING, Pa. — More than 300 female seventh-grade students from 19 schools around Berks County area attended the Careers with Math Options Conference on Wednesday, May 10, at Penn State Berks.

The day began with a welcome and a keynote speech by Colleen English, assistant professor in kinesiology, who spoke about her own career and the need to explore courses in STEM along with the study in other disciplines. The female student panel from various disciplines from Berks talked about their majors and answered questions from the audience.        

The students were then divided into small groups, and each had an opportunity to attend three different workshops over the course of the day with a lunch break in Tully’s. In total, the college offered 28 workshops by 34 presenters including faculty, staff, information technology professionals, career services, financial aid counselors, academic advisers, and STEM students. The topics included math, engineering, biomechanics, robotics, economics, nutrition, biology, chemistry, forensics, physics, kinesiology, cyber security, computer science, scholarships, career connections, and statistics.

The day concluded with the students taking a tour of the campus, visiting the bookstore and taking selfies by the Nittany Lion statue. The girls responded to the day with positive reviews including, “It was awesome. I didn’t want to leave,” and “Great program." 

The committee is planning the 20-year anniversary of the Careers with Math Options conference, which will include a special dedication to conference founder Janet Winter, on May 9, 2018. Winter retired from Penn State Berks as a senior lecturer in mathematics. She was a tireless advocate for women, especially in promoting STEM subjects to female students.