Penn State Berks celebrated the 23nd anniversary of its Careers with Math Options Conference on May 9. A record total of 188 seventh grade students and 24 chaperones from 13 schools around the Berks County area attended the day-long event. The mission of the event is to generate excitement for STEM topics early in young female students’ education.
The day began with a welcome by the original conference organizer, Janet Winter, retired professor of mathematics, followed by a keynote speech by Jill Felker, lecturer in chemistry, who spoke about the role her personal experiences played in inspiring her career in molecular and biochemistry and the need to explore courses in STEM along with the study in other disciplines. A panel of Berks students from various disciplines served as a resource to talk about their majors and answered questions from the audience.
The students were then divided into small groups, and each had an opportunity to attend three different workshops over the course of the day with a lunch break in Tully’s. In total, the college offered hands-on workshops in information technology, engineering, forensics, physics, biology, chemistry, kinesiology, occupational therapy, psychology, library science, and career planning.
The day concluded with the students taking a tour of the campus, visiting the bookstore, and taking selfies by the Nittany Lion statue.