Hermanas Conference introduces science to high school girls
Photos and Story by Janis Nichols
On April 25, approximately 200 high school girls from Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro and Forest Grove will spend the day at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus immersed in the language of science. The second annual Hermanas Conference, sponsored by PCC and Intel, is designed to attract Latinas to careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Students will participate in workshops in chemistry, physics, computer science, biology and engineering.
Mónica Feliú-Mójer, vice director and news editor of Ciencia Puerto Rico and Manager of Outreach Programs in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington, will serve as the keynote speaker. Feliú-Mójer is widely recognized for her use of experiential-based lessons to make science and scientific role models accessible and relevant to under-served audiences. During her address, she will share her journey to a career in STEM, from growing up in a rural community in Puerto Rico to getting a doctorate at Harvard University. She will also talk about the multiple doors that STEM can open, from education to community empowerment.
In addition to the keynote, conference participants will also be addressed by State Rep. Joe Gallegos, who will discuss House Bill 4116—an initiative that provides scholarships and college success services to low-income and first-generation college students.
“We want to increase the number of underrepresented female students choosing to go to college by inspiring them to pursue an engineering and science education,” said Jessica Nazario, Hermanas Conference board member and Intel Software development engineer. “Many young Latina girls do not know what opportunities are available in technology, or what it takes to be an engineer, scientist or a technical professional.”
Since 2005, Intel has collaborated with a number of community colleges to expose female students to the world of science. Interested students should contact their respective high schools for registration information.