Middle Schoolers Attend Girls Only STEM Day and Discover a World of Career Options

Our Middle School students at the US Naval Academy, ready to begin their day of STEM learning. Looking great, ladies!

In late October, eight of our Middle School students experienced an exciting trip to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland for the Girls Only STEM Day event. This annual event attracts female middle school students from all over the country to provide a fun, hands-on introduction to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, along with the opportunity to meet and work with hundreds of students who share similar interests.  

The Girls Only STEM Day program included workshops focused on robotics, coding, cybertechnology, aviation technology, medicine, meteorological science, and sports engineering. Students also played strategy games and got to meet with female faculty as well as current college students working with technology.

Students working together on their Ozobot robotic engineering project. The Ozobots were a real favorite for our attendees.

To add to the fun, the girls traveled to Maryland with chaperones Ms. Nahal (Middle School Science) and Ms. Klimek (Middle School Math), which allowed the girls to deepen their bond as classmates and friends. 

Our Girls Only STEM Day attendees smile with Ms. Nahal outside the hotel.

Our students were connected to the Girls STEM Day opportunity thanks to Foundation Academies’ Board of Trustees member Reid McCarthy. 

“I am really excited for our students to be in such a great academic and service-oriented environment. The Naval Academy is a beautiful place; a place steeped in our national history, and a place with serious academic purpose. My hope is that this event will serve to form a lasting relationship between Foundation Academies and the United States Naval Academy,” said Mr. McCarthy. “I think our students will thrive in this program.”

After the experience, our students returned inspired with new perspectives on their potential careers, showing great interest in the many fields within STEM. However, the story is best told from the students’ perspectives. Check out what the students had to say about the trip, below.

“It was really fun! We got to learn about what STEM people do. We got to do an experiment with biofuels and engineering. I am most definitely interested in pursuing a career in STEM. This trip really helped me shorten my list down to medical or science. I would recommend this to future classes.” – Aundrea Grizzle, 8th Grade

“It was a good experience. There were a lot of hands-on experiments. We were mixed in with more than 200 girls from all over the country. It was really fun to be there and know that the other people that were there had the same goals and interests as us.” – Darolin Alvarado, 8th Grade

“It was very interesting, especially because of all of the other people we were able to meet. We really had fun on the car ride, and we really enjoyed staying at the hotel too. It was really fun when we got to make paper rockets. I’m definitely interested in pursuing something in STEM as a career, but I’m still figuring it out.” – Alicia Waith, 8th Grade

“I enjoyed learning about robotics. It definitely helped me think about my future career… something with a medical focus.” – Jessica Landi, 8th Grade

“We were put in groups of twenty and we learned coding, learned about Ozobots robots and their sensors, we learned about the Bernoulli Effect, which is more velocity and less pressure, and that’s when we made paper rockets. It was really cool! We heard there’s a week-long summer academy there at the Naval Academy, and a lot of the students that showed us around said they went to the summer academy when they were in middle and high school and now they are going to school there. I think I might want to do that!” – Hannah Ethington, 8th Grade

“It was really fun but also interesting. I was able to learn about jobs that I never knew were involved in STEM environment, like coding. I was never really interested in coding until I went there. Also, I was interested in decryption. I may pursue coding, but I’m still deciding.” – Angela Cerna, 8th Grade

“My favorite part was robotic engineering because they made us play with Ozobots; I called mine ‘Bob.’ I think I’d like to be a robotic engineer. The experience opened our eyes to sciences, and I feel like more girls should have the opportunity to do this too. It’s actually FUN! It’s not boring. I wanted to be a lawyer since I was 4 or 5, doing criminal law, then Ms. Nahal sent me to the STEM program, and it opened my eyes to a second option, which is robotic engineering. I didn’t know I liked robots THAT much!” – Sheguyma Bazile, 7th Grade

“I felt a little more advanced in my class when we got back. At the STEM event, we learned about equations, volume, density, pressure and velocity, and we haven’t gone over that yet in our class. I felt really special going there. It was really fun. For a career, I’ve been considering becoming a Paleontologist; I’d love to study in the field of science. I thought about being a lawyer, but after I looked at all the things you have to study to become a lawyer, none of them really interested me. Then I wanted to become an orthopedic surgeon, but me and blood do not mix. I really enjoy learning about dinosaurs and earth’s history, so I’m thinking about becoming a Paleontologist. I would definitely love to go again, I’d be the first one to hand in my application!”
Brianna Telles, 7th Grade

We are thrilled that our scholars were afforded this incredible opportunity and look forward to seeing how their career interests progress from here!

Special thanks to Mr. Reid McCarthy for bringing this amazing opportunity to our students! Enriching educational experiences like this one are invaluable for our students, and we hope to be able to provide many more opportunities like this in the future. 

Check Out Our Trip Photo Gallery!
Special thanks to Ms. Klimek, Mr. McCarthy, and Ms. Nahal for providing such wonderful photos!

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Michelle Lawlor

Michelle Lawlor, Marketing and Communications Associate, spearheads Foundation Academies’ marketing and communication efforts. Born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey, Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Multimedia Communications from Rider University.