ABERDEEN, S.D. Around 300 middle and high school students got the chance to learn more about women in science, technology, engineering and math careers. Guest speakers included women in these fields that work in Aberdeen along with a special keynote speaker.
The Women in Science Conference started 16 years ago and organizers hope to continue the inspiration for many more to come.
We just thought it would be fun to bring speakers in that are involved in science careers and let them be able to talk to the girls, show them what’s out there. Just to keep things fresh in their minds that there’s tons of opportunities when it comes to science fields,” says Amy Parkin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Aberdeen.
Students of all ages enjoyed various aspects of the conference. Kayla Rotondi thought it was neat to see the fields that everyone is in and to have a chance to explore those options. Alyssa Keough liked knowing that there are a wide variety of jobs females can do that she didn’t think they could normally do.
Picking a keynote speaker isn’t an easy job for organizers. They always try to find someone from around the area to show that you can be from a rural South Dakota town and still go out to do great things. Pierre native Stephanie Arne was the lucky catch this year. She enjoys sharing the different types of STEM careers she’s ran across from her time exploring the world.
I want them to know that there’s not one perfect right way to do anything. It’s about being motivated and determined, believing in themselves and being okay with failure, explains Arne, the host of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.
Now not everyone could make the conference, so Arne is holding a free presentation at the Johnson Fine Arts Center starting at 7 p.m.. Organizers of the conference say Arne is their most popular keynote speaker to date.