16th Annual STEM Conference at MSJC Inspires 8th Grade Girls from the Pass to Pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

January 7, 2016

The annual American Association of University Women’s STEM Conference was held at the Mt. San Jacinto College San Jacinto Campus

#IamAwesome. That was the message nearly 300 eighth-grade girls from the San Gorgonio Pass heard on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 during the American Association of University Women’s STEM Conference at Mt. San Jacinto College.

Keynote speaker Amber Price, a documentary filmmaker and motivational speaker, reinforced the #IamAwesome message and encouraged the future leaders to believe in themselves in her speech titled “Power, Passion and Pursuit – Female Leadership in the 21st Century.”'

The event, organized by the AAUW’s, San Gorgonio Pass Group of the Redlands Branch, and hosted by MSJC at its San Jacinto Campus, is designed for eighth graders from middle schools in Banning and Beaumont. Leaders from the private and public sectors provided hands-on workshops that helped the teens explore careers involving the science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM) fields.

Theresa Lantz, acting president of the AAUW branch, and Joyce Johnson, MSJC’s dean of Career & Technical Education, welcomed the group. Lantz encouraged them to keep their interest in the STEM fields. Johnson told the group the STEM fields were important. She shared with them that she was a practicing registered nurse in addition to her duties at MSJC and that her two greatest supporters were also women: her mother and her grandmother. Beaumont Unified Superintendent Maureen Latham also attended and greeted the group of students.

After the keynote presentation, the students headed out to the workshops on campus. Workshops were held by organizations that included the University of California, Riverside; city of Fontana; Smart Riverside; Wells Fargo; San Bernardino County; Loma Linda University Medical Center; California Department of Justice; Riverside County Sheriff’s Department; San Manuel Fire Department and more. Donors supporting the event were: Sun Lakes Charity Week Golf Tournament; Pass Patchers Quilt Guild; Retired Teachers Association; Pass Rotary Club; Banning Women’s Club and other Pass area groups.

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Beaumont schools superintendent Dr. Maureen Latham, center on right, greets eighth grade girls from the Pass during the American Association of University Women’s STEM Conference at the Mt. San Jacinto College.

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Keynote speaker Amber Price, a documentary filmmaker, inspires eighth grade girls to become leaders during the American Association of University Women’s STEM Conference at the Mt. San Jacinto College.

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Joyce Johnson, Mt. San Jacinto College’s dean of Career & Technical Education, welcomes eighth grade students from the Pass during the American Association of University Women’s STEM Conference at the MSJC.