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By guest blogger Sarah Pumphrey

On October 22, the Forest Biomaterials women hosted the second annual STEM day for a select handful of eighth grade girls from Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy. Sixteen young women were selected to participate based on their interest in STEM fields. Our goal was to encourage these ladies to pursue their STEM interests and allow them to realize that it is an achievable career goal for women.

Stem Outreach eventCoordinated by PSE student Anna Costine, this day consisted of a deinking lab, egg drop lab, a discussion with WISE (women in science and engineering) leaders, and a dorm tour. They started the day off with the hands-on STEM-based labs.

In groups of four, the ladies were given the challenge of building a parachute to keep an egg from cracking after being dropped off of a third floor balcony.  During the deinking lab, the young women learned about paper recycling, as they had the opportunity to re-pulp and deink printed copy paper before recycling it back into white paper.

Following the labs, the ladies learned more about women in STEM programs through discussions with WISE leaders and ambassadors during lunch and a dorm tour. Overall, the event was a success, as the young women had a blast and showed great interest in pursuing STEM fields.  These young women were extremely attentive and asked excellent and probing questions about college and careers.  See our entire photo gallery here.

Check out how our TAPPI chapter also gives back to the community.