August 17, 2017
STEM FOCUSED — Indiana middle school girls, including a group of students from IPS’ Harshman Magnet Middle School, participated in the “Ignite Your Superpowers” program. The fun-filled event held at the University of Indianapolis, focused on STEM (science, technology, enigneering and math) programming. Below, students visit the General Electric (GE) aviation table.
Hundreds of Indiana middle school girls gathered on Thursday at the University of Indianapolis for the inaugural “Ignite Your Superpower” (IYS) event, presented by Indy Women in Tech.
Students from Harshman Magnet Middle School represented IPS.
“We’re the only IPS school that received an invitation,” said Amy Moore, Harshman’s assistant principal. “We have a solid reputation in the community, so I’m excited to be representing Harshman and IPS at this event.”
IYS provided a day filled with STEM activities and featured more than 60 different companies and exhibitors specializing in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
Students, who were led by volunteer “superheroes” through STEM exhibits, were exposed to interactive presentations, live demonstrations and some of the coolest tools in the STEM industry. They also heard from two of the most popular women in auto racing, Pippa Mann and Sarah Fisher, who served as the event’s special guests.
“We hope the Ignite Your Superpower STEM day will inspire these young girls to discover more about the wonders of STEM, and help spark a lasting interest that motivates them to pursue their passions,” said Karen Maginn, director and chair of Indy Women in Tech. “We hope IYS will serve as a model for future STEM days that can reach young girls throughout the state of Indiana.”
Harshman student Jayda S. said she was ready to learn “everything that they want to teach me” at the event.
It’s this type of openness to STEM curriculum and career options that organizers of Ignite Your Superpower were hoping to receive.
“This event serves as an excellent opportunity for girls in Indianapolis to explore all of the opportunities available to them in STEM fields,” said Norman Burns, president and CEO of Conner Prairie. The interactive history park served as one of the event partners.
Harshman 7th-grade STEM teacher Shari’ Thomas said she’s glad her students are being offered experiences like this, which she didn’t have in grade school.
“I didn’t really have a STEM program in grade school that exposed me to the different types of careers and options before going to college,” said Thomas. “So, I really hope that this event opens up some of the girls’ eyes about the different career paths and allows them to see that that it isn’t just a male-dominated career, that they can also find their niche in STEM as a female, and that they can be exposed and interested in that for their future.”