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NNSA labs and sites get girls excited about engineering

Future engineers K. Potter, left, and T. Herrin at Y-12 National Security Complex's Introduce a Girl to Engineering event.

NNSA workers across the nuclear security enterprise took advantage of “Introduce a girl to engineering day” to instill hundreds of young women with excitement for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. This year’s theme, “#ilooklikeanengineer,” celebrated expanding diversity in engineering fields.

Employees from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Sandia National Laboratories volunteered at the Tri-Valley Expanding Your Horizons conference for the day, hosting more than 300 local girls, while Kansas City National Security Campus and Y-12 National Security Complex each sponsored events designed to give high school girls a snapshot into the day in the life of an engineer.

“It is an opportunity for girls and young women to learn about the possibilities of a career in engineering, engage in hands-on experiments and meet and learn from engineers,” said Megan Houchin, an engineer at Y-12.

Over the past 10 years, STEM jobs have grown three times faster than non-STEM jobs. With women representing only 25 percent of the engineering workforce, encouraging girls to consider STEM careers can help fill the engineering gap.

“The energy and the excitement from the girls is contagious and it makes all the effort worthwhile and rewarding, just knowing that you helped to create that enthusiasm and to open the eyes of these young ladies to the possibilities of STEM education and careers,” said Kim Hallock, an LLNL employee whose involvement in the annual STEM outreach spans six years.

As NNSA’s national security mission is directly supported through the strategic application for science and technology, STEM diversity and outreach activities are key to supporting the nation’s nuclear security enterprise. Learn more about NNSA women in STEM during Women’s History Month by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

The Kansas City National Security Campus helped students spark an interest in STEM jobs for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.Women from the Kansas City National Security Campus volunteered to spark an interest in STEM during the event.E. Mihealsick, left, and A. Russell attended Introduce a Girl to Engineering at Y-12.NNSA Production Office Deputy Manager Teresa Robbins, right, responds to a question as part of Introduce a Girl to Engineering at Y-12. Other panelists were Susan Kozemko, Sarah Lim, Damita Mason, Julie Cramer, and Syreeta Vaughn. Jennifer Emch of Y-12, left, puts a fall-protection harness on A. Harris as Carey Norton of Y-12 looks on.