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Apr 29, 2024

2024 Texas Girls in STEM Day

WTC Recognizes Employees and Students

On March 1, 2024, Western Texas College proudly celebrated Texas Girls in STEM Day, an initiative aimed at encouraging and inspiring young girls to pursue their interests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

“We have 345 full and part-time female students declaring a STEM field as their major in the spring semester,” said Dr. Barb Beebe, College President. “That’s almost half of our female students and more than a 35% increase from just two years ago.”

State Representative Rhetta Andrews Bowers (District 113) introduced House Bill 3435, which declared March 1 as “Texas Girls in STEM Day.” The bill ensures that Texas schools encourage, offer opportunities, and celebrate females pursuing and achieving success in STEM fields.

In 2023, Western Texas College hosted an extremely successful, on-campus STEM day for 4th and 5th-graders. The College plans to host a STEM day every other year. Reflecting on last year’s event, Beebe emphasized the importance of introducing girls to the vast opportunities within STEM fields.

“The girls who attended explored a range of engaging activities led by our accomplished female faculty and sta who are experts in STEM careers. Witnessing these skilled women in action opened up a world of possibilities for the attendees.”

“Showcasing women in STEM is a great place to start,” stated Stephanie Ducheneaux, Dean of Instruction at WTC. She oversees the STEM curriculum and teaches math. Dr. Lynn Millwood, Math Instructor and licensed professional geoscientist, notes that jobs in science and math career fields actually pay more and have fewer candidate applications.

“I have been able to get better-paying jobs and support myself more comfortably. Plus, it is more fun.” 

Both Ducheneaux and Millwood remembered not hearing much about STEM opportunities growing up but were encouraged to pursue STEM careers. Ducheneaux was inspired as a teenager to follow her talent and passion.

“My high school math teacher told me I should go to college and become a math teacher, so I did!” As a teenager, Millwood participated in a National Science Foundation-funded Summer Science Training Program at Asbury College in Kentucky.

“I studied chemistry with a Ph.D. biochemist for 8-10 weeks,” recalled Millwood. “It got me thinking about Science.” 

Western Texas College is committed to fostering a supportive environment for young women in STEM. The stories of those like Ducheneaux and Millwood serve as a beacon, inspiring the next generation of female scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

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