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SCSD Students Foster Science Interest at ‘Girls Going Tech Espanol’ Event

This is a photo of two middle school girls sitting at a desk working on building wiggle robots and smiling at the camera.“We need more women in STEM.”
April Arnzen, Micron Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, and President of the Micron Foundation, recently gave opening remarks to 60 young women from Ed Smith, ELMS, Lincoln, and Syracuse STEM at Blodgett.
Sitting in a room in the Whitney Applied Technology Center at Onondaga Community College, the young women were all there to participate in Girls Going Tech Espanol, an event organized by OCC and La Liga and sponsored by Micron, aiming to engage native Spanish speakers in a day of hands-on STEM learning and mentorship, all in Spanish.
“I’m excited to be here so I can see what kinds of jobs I can get when I graduate,” Syracuse STEM at Blodgett 8th grader Lillian Estrada said. “I’m interested in Science – it can tell you a lot about the Earth and how things are made. I’ve never done this kind of engineering – now, I’m building a robot – but it’s kind of easy! It feels nice to be here, because we talk in Spanish at my house. Being here around so many Spanish speakers makes me feel comfortable. It makes me more interested in what they have to say because I can understand them so well.”
Following the hands-on activities, where students built “wiggle bots” and created binary bracelets, they broke into small groups and had mentoring sessions with women working in Architecture & Interior Design,                 Construction Project Management, Digital Accessibility, Semiconductor Industry Operations, Micron’s Expansion Team, Engineering and Aerospace, Renewable Energy, Emergency Medical Technology, and more.
Lillian, who is considering a possible career in nursing one day, said the mentoring aspect of the day was valuable.
“It helped me learn so many new things,” she shared. “I learned from other people how they got to where they are, and I learned how to communicate with new people. I also learned that being bilingual is an asset… I’m seeing the possibilities that are open to me because I speak another language.”
Classmate Alanis Reyes hopes to pursue a career working with computers or in the field of engineering one day.
“This experience could help me a lot,” she explained. “I’ve never been on a college campus before – it’s so big! I like it here. This opportunity has helped me learn the basics of technology and engineering – and since I’ve lived in the U.S. for so many years, it’s also nice to be able to keep my Spanish alive. My mom really wants me to finish college – so this event is kind of helping inspire me to stay here and finish college. It’s really nice to have this opportunity to learn that I can make good money doing something I enjoy!”
The event was an opportunity that SCSD staff also hope to see more of in the future.
“This was a wonderful event to encourage girls to pursue careers in the STEM field and to expose them to real women, who were Latina just like themselves, who are already working in the STEM field,” Ed Smith Science teacher Melinda O’Connor, who attended the trip with some of her students, shared. “All the girls there were actively engaged the entire time and enjoying themselves. I think we should continue to create opportunities like this for all groups of students to be exposed to STEM more!”
Thank you to our friends at Micron, OCC, and La Liga for organizing this engaging day to help our young women build their interest – and confidence – in #SCSDSTEM!
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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