Department of Mathematics, Science and Informatics OutReach Day Girls Will Be Women In STEAM Conference 2017

On Saturday, April 29, 2017, the Mathematics, Science, and Informatics Department of Penfield College, participated in its first department outreach. Faculty presented hands on STEM activities at the second annual, Girls Will Be Women in STEAM Conference, hosted by Real I.M.P.A.C.T. Center. Over two hundred young girls, grades 3rd-8th, attended the event at the Hutchings Career Center in Macon, GA. The conference brought together young women from across the state of Georgia, as far north as Cobb and Gwinnett County and as far south as Wilcox, Early, and Grady County.

(L-R) Dr. Vokhiwa, Dr. Baugher, and Dr. Baskaran engaging girls in STEM.

Dr. Sabrina Walthall, Associate Professor of Science, in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Informatics is board president for Real Impact Center and a lead organizer of the Girls Will Be Women in STEAM Conference. This year she was joined by department colleagues who engaged the girls in their area of interest. Dr. Vikraman Baskaran, Assistant Professor/Health Informatics Program Coordinator introduced the students to coding using the popular educational platform at Dr. Greg Baugher, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, showed attendees how to build simple wind turbine machines to harness some of the energy students exert while blowing on a pinwheel. They even quantified these quantities using mathematical equations from physics. Dr. Zipangani Vokhiwa, Associate Professor of Science, explained to the young women the importance of how Respiration is a cousin to Photosynthesis also known as:- "THE FIRST COUSINS OF LIFE".

More than 200 girls excited to have a STEM-tastic day.

" I am so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful event," expressed Dr. Vokhiwa at the end of the conference. The participation in such outreach events will continue to grow the departments capacity to work creatively by integrating knowledge and skills across the disciplines. "It was exciting to work beside my colleagues and witness over 200 girls spending their Saturday involved in STEM-tastic fun," stated Dr. Walthall when asked about the success of the conference. The Girls Will Be Women In STEAM Conference is the culminating event for the academic year at Real I.M.P.A.C.T. and sets the stage for the Girl Power STEM Camp held in the summer at Mercer University.

Real IMPACT Center, Inc., is designed to expose girls to (STEM) science, technology, engineering, and math education, while teaching life skills along the way. Uniquely, Real IMPACT is the only organization in the region that offers a year-round STEM Education Program, allowing girls to remain engaged in STEM education during out-of-school time (summer, weekends, and after-school). Real IMPACT STEM Programs for Girls include STEMtastic Saturdays Girls will be Women in STEAM Conference, Girl Power STEM Camp, and an After-School First Lego League Robotics and Real Girls Code Club. To learn more visit

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Sabrina Walthall


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