STEM education gives girls new outlook on their futures

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Tuesday, Liberty Middle School 7th grade girls got hands-on experience and a new outlook on their futures.

With men dominating science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, local educators want to get young girls interested in STEM.

The "Expanding Your Horizons" field trip to Sci-Quest let girls get hands on experience.

"It sort of opened my eyes because I just thought 'science, oh, that`s hard and kind of boring,' but now knowing what they've done it`s pretty interesting," said student Emma Lingerfelt.

The girls extracted DNA from strawberries, built cars out of craft materials, and made flashy electronic accessories.

Student Briana Harden says she doesn't see science and math fields as her strong suit, but after seeing what she could do wants to explore the fields further.

"I really just want to focus on trying to talk to other people who are in this field to see more if this is something I want to do in the future," said Harden.

STEM teacher Christine Yeske says she loves seeing young girls get excited about stem careers, saying her own passion for science, technology, engineering and math came from a "really great" teacher of her own.

"I've heard a few students say 'I want to be a nurse,' or  'I want to be an engineer,' and I think it's great seeing them do the hands on activities related to those careers."

The hope is the more real-world applications young girls see, the more likely they'll be to pursue STEM careers and shift the fields' dynamic.

While the girls were off-campus, the 7th grade boys particpated in Leadership Day. They attended sessions focused on topics such as honor, service, goal setting, and communication.