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December 18, 2009 - Women in Science Conference Encourages Students to Pursue Careers in STEM Fields

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Registration is now open for the 13th annual Oklahoma Women in Science Conference, to be held Feb. 9, 2010, at Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

The free, one-day conference is designed to allow students in grades six through 12 to engage in hands-on science activities; learn first-hand about science and technology career opportunities from accomplished professional women; and receive college preparation information from Oklahoma college, university and outreach representatives.

The theme of this year’s conference, “STEM: Girls Growing Oklahoma’s Future,” is bioenergy and sustainability. Kylah McNabb, Oklahoma Department of Commerce wind energy development specialist, will serve as the keynote speaker for the event.

McNabb, along with more than 18 of Oklahoma’s top female scientists and engineers, will encourage the expected 500 middle school and high school students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Teachers attending the event will receive valuable information about summer research opportunities, classroom resource materials and suggestions for supporting and encouraging young women’s interest in STEM disciplines.

“The goal of the Women in Science conference is to show students that STEM careers are exciting, attainable and rewarding,” said James Wicksted, Oklahoma EPSCoR associate director. “The conference provides these students with real-world examples of science and engineering career opportunities and allows them to meet successful women scientists, doctors and engineers from our state. We’re very pleased to be able to offer this important conference to these young Oklahomans and their teachers.”

According to the National Science Foundation, the share of science and engineering occupations held by women has more than doubled in the last 25 years. However, the 2008 Science and Engineering Indicators Report observed that, although participation continues to increase, women today constitute only one-fourth, or 26 percent, of the college-educated workforce in STEM occupations.

Women in Science 2010 is sponsored by the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), in collaboration with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, National Science Foundation, Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma NASA Space Grant and Oklahoma INBRE.

Applications to attend the conference are now being accepted on the EPSCoR Web site at Registration ends Jan. 15, 2010, and space is limited. Teachers may register a maximum of twelve students and two adults per school.

For more information, contact Gina Miller, OK EPSCoR outreach coordinator, at (405) 744-7645 or