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Leading STEM Advocates to Convene at New Think Tank
Posted 03/17/2015 12:36PM

Some of the nation’s leading voices in advocating for greater emphasis on STEM education, particularly among girls, will convene for a new think tank and symposium March 19-20 at The Agnes Irwin School to explore key contributing factors to the persistence of girls and women in science, technology, engineering and math fields. 

Sharing Solutions: Advancing Girls in STEM, organized by the Center for the Advancement of Girls (CAG) at The Agnes Irwin School, will bring together education leaders in K-12 public, private, charter and parochial school, university administrators and researchers, and senior corporate executives on the Agnes Irwin campus to discuss factors that impede the success of girls and women in STEM in the classroom and workforce.

Jill Birdwhistell, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer of the American Association of University Women and a sought-after speaker on the international circuit, will give the opening keynote address at the event. Her talk will be followed by a day of moderated panel discussions with leaders in STEM fields, hands-on engineering demonstrations and small-group case study sessions.


In 2010, the AAUW released its seminal research report Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, which addressed numerous barriers girls and women encounter in the STEM fields, and effective strategies to break through these barriers. Birdwhistell will preview the newest AAUW report, Solving the Equation: the Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing, to be released March 26, at a launch event on the Samsung Mountain View Campus, and live-streamed to more than 500 sites across the country. 

Other keynote speakers will include Freeman Hrabowski III, President of UMBC (The University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since 1992, whose research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance; and D’Arcy F. Rudnay, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Comcast Corp., who as head of the women’s network at Comcast regularly promotes mentorship and partner relationships.

The think tank and symposium will focus on three areas that research has shown to have a positive impact on girls’ and women’s interest and persistence in STEM: preparation of teachers, mentoring and partnerships to combine resources and expand opportunities. Through panel presentations, case studies and group discussions, the think tank and symposium will generate new connections and new dialogue in addressing these issues.

For more information on Sharing Solutions: Advancing Girls in STEMvisit the website at http://www.agnesirwin.org/2015stem. For more information on the report Solving the Equation, please visit the AAUW website.

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