November 18, 2015
In partnership with the US Department of Energy, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and other groups, the Anchorage Museum hosted one of the first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Café programs in the nation the evening of Oct. 27.
Geared primarily towards middle school girls and their teachers, and featuring professional female STEM mentors, the Café gave students and educators access to STEM professionals, who shared how they got started in their respective fields, what interests them the most about their jobs, what exciting projects they are working on, and why STEM matters to our society.
Teachers received take-home material prepared by the Department of Energy's Education and Workforce Development team to continue STEM learning in the classroom.
The Anchorage Museum’s STEM Café filled the atrium with enthusiastic conversations. More than 100 middle school students registered, representing at least 18 different schools and afterschool programs. More than 20 professionals joined them to talk about study and work in STEM fields. Mentors included senior university faculty, as well as young graduate students, independent consultants, small business owners and corporate teams. Fields of specialization had a distinctly Alaskan flavor, ranging from marine toxicology, polar ecology, and petroleum engineering, as well as civil engineering, museum conservation, neuroscience and mathematics.
Director LaDoris G. Harris and her team from Department of Energy, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, interacted with each group. We are grateful to the Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Title VII, ANSEP, Girl Scouts, and the teachers and parents who provided transportation and helped promote the event.