During Women’s History Month, Solley Elementary invited local women working in the STEM fields to come teach students about their jobs.
This year, nine women rotated throughout the kindergarten through fifth-grade classrooms on March 26 to give brief presentations about their jobs. The women worked at a variety of organizations, including Pongos Learning Lab, the National Security Agency, Anne Arundel Community College and Whiting-Turner.
“Bringing them to our classrooms and having speakers take the time to explain specific things is a great opportunity for all students,” said Marlena Colleton-Pearsell, a STEM in Society teacher at Solley who organizes Women in STEM Day. “I like to expose our students, but we can’t always take field trips or have field experiences, so it’s always great to have the community come to us.”
Students learned about a variety of STEM skills, including teamwork, math, planning and how electricity — most importantly, Wi-Fi — works.
“I think it’s important to seek to inspire them and show them that ordinary people can do extraordinary things,” said Megan McFarland, a project manager at Whiting-Turner.
Women in STEM Day was McFarland’s first time presenting to elementary students.
“They need to see that it’s not just something that’s on paper or that math is only relevant on their homework, but that it does have a contribution to the real world, that people do need it every single day,” McFarland said. “It’s inspiring because when we have somebody that went ahead of us and did it, we see that it’s possible for us to do it, too.”