Kathryn M. Peck leads at Curiosity, Confidence, Challenge workshop

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Kathryn M. Peck, M.D. recently took part in the workshop “Curiosity, Confidence, Challenge.” It is a conference for middle school girls on careers in science, technology, engineering, and math held by Sycamore School in Indianapolis. It was the 20th consecutive year of the conference, an event designed to heighten girls’ interest in STEM careers and encourage them to select high school courses that will lead to success in college.  For the past several years, they have reached the maximum capacity of 400 middle school girls from all regions of Indiana in attendance at the conference.

The girls select four workshops from a total of 29 disciplines related to STEM careers. Women volunteers from each of these fields lead the 40 minute workshops with 5-10 minutes of enthusiastic discussion on their personal background, education, job responsibilities, career possibilities, etc.  The remaining 30-35 minutes are spent on a hands-on activity, or activities, related to their field.  The girls loved the hands-on aspect of the conference.  There are a maximum of 12 girls in each of the six workshop sessions.  The workshop leaders are a diverse group of professional women from large corporations (Lilly, Rolls-Royce, Allison Transmission, Dow AgroSciences), universities (Butler, IUPUI, Rose-Hulman), health care facilities (IU School of Medicine, Veterans Affairs, Zionsville Country Vet), parks departments, and small businesses.