By: Kara S.
On April 27, 2013, Girl Scouts of all ages from the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta had the amazing opportunity to go to an event that focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the STEM Expo! There were many "stations" to go to, including presentations from women in the community and booths to visit set up by companies and organizations as well. All girls had a blast!
As I walked around, I ran into Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Leadership Specialist, Ms. Libby Spencer and Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Director of Girl Leadership Experience, Ms. Beth Messer, so I asked them why they thought STEM concepts were important for girls. Ms. Spencer said "It is important for young girls to become interested in STEM early on because females are underrepresented in STEM careers."
Ms. Messer agreed and also added "In a no-brainer environment where kids are doing STEM-related activities, the boys tend to take control, but at a STEM event for girls, they have the chance to lead, take control, and have more fun than they would with boys." Would you agree?

One thing at the Expo that caught my eye: a man was walking around wearing a LOT of plastic bags, so I had to go ask him a few questions. It turns out that two girls, Olivia and Carter Ries, started a non-profit organization when they were in elementary school that focused on preserving our environment and endangered species. This organization is called One More Generation, or OMG. The man walking around was wearing 500 plastic grocery bags, which symbolized how many plastic bags the average person uses in a year. For more information on endangered species and One More Generation, visit
After talking to the bag monster, I wanted to know what some girls thought about the booths. It turns out the most popular places were the Robotic Explorers, Georgia Tech, and Big Thinkers. Making spin art with Lego robotic pieces and markers was one of the most popular things to do at the Robotic Explorers booth. At the Georgia Tech booth, girls could take care of a robotic dinosaur. The last, and probably the most popular, booth was for Big Thinkers, where girls made colorful and sparkly goo.

I also had the opportunity to listen to one of the many presentations at the Expo. The one I went to was called STEMPosium and five women who have a STEM careers. They shared why they took on that profession, why they love it, and what obstacles they went through to get to where they are now.
Melissa Daniels is a marine biologist at Zoo Atlanta. She loves her job because she gets to interact with animals you may not see on a regular basis, but she says that it is a hard job because it is so physically demanding and you have to be very devoted.  
Jessica Hill is a dietitian at Coca-Cola. A dietitian is someone who makes sure the labels on food products are correct and that foods and drinks are not too unhealthy. She also enjoys the science in making and reviewing Coke products. She also reviews the ingredient lists. She says that to be successful, you have to study and get good grades now and be a well-rounded person.
Karla Tuner works for the at Georgia Bureau of Investigation, where she works in a lab and tests for alcohol and drugs. Her one major obstacle was deciding what to do.
Katrina Strozier is a doctor who cares for women in their teens and older. She grew up in the inner city and had lots of obstacles, but never gave up.
Melissa is an industrial engineer where she helps people solve problems. Her obstacle was getting a job in a male-dominate field, so that is why she tells girls to go for their dreams, never give up, and that you don't have to be a guy to do something.
All in all, the STEM Expo was an amazing event. All of the girls there were walking around with huge grins on their faces. This event was full of fun activities to do and interesting and unusual facts about science, technology, engineering, and math. If there is ever another STEM Expo happening, I will defiantly be going!

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