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Local News

Joliet student club visits national laboratory to learn STEM careers for women

Students learned potential careers in science from women

Fearless Females Z Club members at Argonne National Laboratory.
Fearless Females Z Club members at Argonne National Laboratory.

JOLIET – Students with Fearless Females Z Club recently visited Argonne National Laboratory to learn about science careers for women, according to a news release.

The club from Joliet Central High School went last week to the laboratory in Lemont to attend the Science Careers in Search of Women conference.

The conference is meant to expose students to a variety of careers in science, engineering and women who work in those professions. Women continue to be under-represented in science and technology, according to Argonne National Laboratory. 

“The Science Careers in Search of Women Conference was conceived to reach out and engage high school women and encourage them to consider careers in science and technology,” the laboratory’s website stated.

Juniors Julie Nettles, Mistika Jimenez and Jazmyn Zepeda, as well as sophomores Lissett Diaz and Sofia Santamaria, attended the conference with teachers Ashley Samsa and Eric Jern, according to a District 204 news release.

Jimenez learned about MIRA, the fifth-fastest supercomputer in the world, which can calculate a quadrillion equations per second. She also constructed a toy car programmed to navigate through a maze while staying within the lines. 

“The trip was a great way for girls interested in [science, technology, engineering, mathematics] careers to meet other women who are actually in those STEM fields doing really important, diverse and interesting work,” Samsa said in a news release. 

The students took tours of labs, lunched with scientists, visited career booths, listened to panel discussions and viewed presentations. They also were divided into groups based on their interests and interacted mainly with women scientists who talked about their career paths. 

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