The Society of Women Environmental Professionals funded grant program, Girls Learning from Women STEM Professionals at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) event was held over two days, May 30 and 31st. Although we did not reach our target of bringing 250 girls to the DEP to work alongside female STEM professionals, 139 girls were able to participate across the 2-day event. Clean air and clean water, storm water management, recycling and the structure of the modern landfill, and a tour of their beautiful LEED Certified Gold Building were just a few of the workshops that our girls experienced.
DEP staff scientists spoke to our Norristown Area High School 9th grade students briefly about their careers and path to DEP, as well as the information for the assigned station.
Students were divided into 7 groups before arriving at DEP at 8:45 a.m. each morning. Each group had a NASD chaperone and greeted their first DEP host who escorted the group to Breakout #1. Students moved through the breakout sessions until convening in the Delaware/Schuylkill rooms for lunch. Pizza was paid for with grant funds. During lunch, the girls had the opportunity to eat with DEP staff, as well as hear other strong females in the office. At the end of breakout #7, at approximately 1:30 p.m., the students boarded the buses and returned to Norristown Area High School.
Many thanks to the Society of Women Environmental Professionals and the volunteers at the DEP for helping our girls envision a future in STEM.