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Stephens College promotes women in science fields

On Saturday, Stephens College launched its "Saturday Afternoon Science" program.

The program directors said they're working to encourage young girls to join STEM or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce.

"I've always been passionate about the recruitment, retention, and promotion of women in the STEM fields, particularly in science and biology," Bio-Chemistry Assistant Professor Erin Sellner said. "As a community outreach and to get to girls while sciences is still cool so we thought targeting the sixth through eighth grade would be a good time."

According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, while women make up 50 percent of the total US college educated workforce, they only account for 29 percent of the science and engineering fields.

The grant funded program was free and open to any sixth through eighth grade girls currently enrolled in private or public school.

"In the past especially, it was women who were let down and had to stay home and cook stuff, but now this shows that we're moving into a time when women can do stuff just as much as men can," Jacinta Chacon said.

Sellner said she hopes the program helps the STEM fields gain more fierce females.

"It's my hope that active engagement fosters a real passion and interest that can be maintained and we'll start to see an increase in women who are actually going to college and then staying in the field," Sellner said.

Sellner said she hopes the program hosts and afternoon of science every month. Saturday's lesson focused on genetics and evolution.

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