Instead of sleeping in this Saturday morning, 150 middle school girls will get back on the school bus to attend the 17th annual Women in Science conference at the EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way. Throughout the day, the seventh and eighth grade girls from Worcester public schools will explore careers through workshops and discussions with women who work in science professions. Designed to give girls real-life role models and inspiration for pursuing their interests in the sciences, Women in Science is jointly presented by the EcoTarium and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This year's conference takes place on Saturday, March 23.
Upon arrival at the EcoTarium at 9 a.m, the girls will participate in three science-based, interactive workshops conducted by women who work in the fields of medicine, robotics, scientific research, technology, museum design, animal care, and education. Each workshop includes hands-on activities and the opportunity to meet dynamic women, who have turned their love of science into successful careers. At 11:30 a.m. the girls and presenters will travel to Intel in Hudson for a tour and luncheon, permitting discussions to continue in a more personal setting.
The middle school girls, more than 60% of whom are minorities, have been selected by their teachers. In some cases, the conference is a natural "next step" for promising students; for others it is a reward for their continued hard work. For still others, the conference provides an incentive to stay in school.
Presenters for this year's conference include women from the EcoTarium, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, UMass Worcester Graduate School of Nursing, Lunenburg Robotics, as well as STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) educators.
About Women in Science
Women in Science is a grant-funded science program for inner-city middle school girls organized by the EcoTarium and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This year's conference is funded, in part, though the generosity of Women's Initiative of the United Way of Central MA, Central Mass STEM Network, Intel, and Gear Up.
About the EcoTarium
EcoTarium is New England's leading science and nature center, an indoor-outdoor venue dedicated to inspiring a passion for science and nature in visitors of all ages. The center offers a museum building with three floors of interactive exhibits and is home to live animal habitats, interpretive nature trails through forest and meadow, the Alden Digital Planetarium, a tree canopy walkway (seasonal) and a narrow-gauge railroad.
The EcoTarium, located at 222 Harrington Way in Worcester, Mass., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays 12 to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $8 for children 2-18, $10 for seniors 65+ and students with ID. WOO card holders receive $2 off one adult admission and $1 off one planetarium show. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.ecotarium.org.
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