On Saturday, January 28, 2017, the Oxnard Union High School District through its Office of Career Education, in collaboration with CSUCI, Oxnard College, Oxnard Chamber of Commerce, VC Stem and Ventura County Civic Alliance, brought to fruition months of planning by holding its first STEM Day for Girls. We also had the support of various businesses in providing a “bling bag” for our attendees: SoCalGas, SCE, Port of Hueneme, Oxnard Chamber of Commerce, and FOOD Share.
This event, the bright idea of Oxnard High School’s GTECH Academy Coordinator Jan Quilantang, brought together businesses, middle schools, high schools, and our post-secondary schools together to provide over 200 8th and 9th grade female students with a morning focused on careers in STEM.
The morning started with a welcome from Superintendent, Dr. Penelope DeLeon, followed by a key note address from Vice President of So Cal Gas, Gina Orozco-Mejia and a strong encouraging message, as well, from Supervisor Kelly Long. Both shared their life story with regards to education and engineering, and urged our female students to believe in themselves and to seek challenges and opportunities.
Following this, our attendees were divided into three paths involving the three broad themes of LAND, SEA and AIR and participated in three hands-on workshops provided by volunteer female engineers from the following organizations: SoCal Gas, Southern California Edison, California Resources Corporation, AERO Computers, NAVSEA, NAVFAC, and NAVAIR. There was so much enthusiasm and energy in each of the workshops and the female engineers served as great mentors for our students.
During the student workshop, representatives from CSUCI and Oxnard College provided workshops regarding careers and college access to the parents of our female students. This was greatly received and they were able to provide detailed assistance to all who participated.
Lastly, we closed the morning with a lunch provided by FOOD Share, Inc., and CEO Bonnie Atmore provided an encouraging and inspiring message for our students, parents, and volunteers. This was followed by our closing speaker, Hueneme High School graduate and current Cal Poly SLO student, Rosio Villalpando. Rosio shared her experiences and encouraged everyone to believe in themselves and to work hard to open the doors to opportunity.
We are very happy with our first STEM Day for Girls and we are already planning for 2017-2018. A great big thank you to everyone who was involved!!