STEM Careers Take Flight With SMART Girls

With the help of the Carnegie Science Center’s Mobile Fab Lab, Penn College’s SMART Girls program recently introduced 40 high schoolers to enriching careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The girls met the Quadcopter Challenge as they designed and built their own quadcopters to navigate an obstacle course. That process and related activities opened their eyes to vocational possibilities, flouting the “ridiculous” convention that young women lack the interest or ability to succeed in STEM fields. “If they just ignore those cultural norms of whatever they should be doing or anything like that, they are going to be doing what they are supposed to be doing, which is designing machinery, doing biomechanical engineering, doing mechanical engineering,” said Jon Doctorick, the mobile laboratory’s education coordinator.