Math Science & U Girls Conference returns to MSU with STEM experiments for local girls

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After not having an event last year, Midwestern State University’s McCoy College of Science, Math and Engineering’s U Girls conference at Bolin Science Hall returned this year for the 22nd time.

The young girls who participated in the Math Science & U Girls Conference were able to perform a variety of chemistry and geological experiments with the help of MSU professors and students.

Many teenage girls spend their weekends shopping or going to the movies, but these sixth through eighth graders spent their Saturday learning about science and math.

“Usually there’s somewhere between 30 to 100 students that get to come and pick different labs to do and all the different sciences,” Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the McCoy College Candice Fulton said.

Fulton volunteered to teach the young students about how science and fun can go hand-in-hand.

“We want them taking those math and science classes and getting excited about those things because there is a great amount of problems that still need to be solved out in the world, and also a lot of fun you can have in the sciences as well,” Fulton said.

The theme of this year’s U Girls Conference was “Girls Rock”, a geology theme where they learned about mapping sea floors as well as performing a chemistry experiment where they were shown how rocks react to acidity over time.

Dean of McCoy College Dr. Marcy Brown-Marsden said the girls’ willingness to learn shows their interest in the field goes beyond their experiences in their classrooms.

“I find a lot of it is curiosity – they’re very curious about what is going on; they’re very adaptive,” Dr. Brown-Marsden said. “They like to look at the different things that go right and the things that don’t go right, and they see how those are meant to be.”

Dr. Brown-Marsden hopes this conference encourages young girls to be passionate about science, despite the difficulties that come with the subject.

“I think one of the things we hope the girls take with them in the long-term is that science really could be for them,” Dr. Brown-Marsden said. “Sometimes we get the sense that when things get difficult or when things get different, it may not be the right career field for them, and we will tell them that we all have our questions, we all have our limitations, but by thinking that it’s for us, that we can actually consider it a potential career – then that hopefully keeps them in that career in the future.”

A future that Dr. Brown-Marsden hopes will allow young women to change the world.

MSU hopes to bring this experience to young girls in the area for many years to come.

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