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The Da Vinci Science Center is seeking help from Lehigh Valley female professionals to support its efforts to encourage girls to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.
The Center is inviting female STEM professionals to attend the first meeting of its Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Advisory Council on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, from 5:30-7 p.m. The Center and its WISE Advisory Council Chairs will present plans for the organization’s WISE Initiative.
WISE Advisory Council members will bring passion, insight, expertise, and resources to advise the Center on strategies for developing girls’ interest and achievement in STEM; mentor young girls who are interested in STEM through the STEM Valley Mentoring Coalition; connect professional women employed in STEM fields; and create a community of STEM professionals who support one another through networking, social events, and mentoring. The WISE Advisory Council is chaired by Kathryn C. Worrilow, Ph.D., a former Da Vinci Science Center Trustee and Founder and CEO of LifeAire Systems in Allentown, Pa.; and Erin Armstrong, Associate Director, Sterilization, for B. Braun in Allentown, Pa.
The meeting is open to all interested professionals, and interested individuals are asked to provide an RSVP by Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, by phone at 484.664.1002, Ext. 102, or by e-mail to WISE@davincisciencecenter.org.
The WISE initiative will hold its 2016 WISE Academy for middle school students and 2016 WISE Forum for high school students in Feb. 2016. Efforts led by the Da Vinci Science Center produced a Women in Science Week of visitor activities in 2011 and the Lehigh Valley area’s first formal Women in Science event in Sept. 2014.
Presented by Daiichi Sankyo, the WISE Forum on Feb. 4, 2016, will offer high school students a unique opportunity to network with leading female professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields during a dinner event and public panel program. The WISE Forum will be held at the Renaissance Allentown Hotel from 5:30-8 p.m. The WISE Academy for middle school students on Feb. 2, 2016, will offer engaging hands-on activities led at the Da Vinci Science Center by female STEM professionals and college students.
The creation of the Da Vinci Science Center’s WISE initiative is a response to national trends – trends reflected regionally – in which women comprise approximately 48 percent of the American workforce but only 24 percent of STEM professionals are female, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.