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October 16, 2012

GIRL POWER: Claremore native Forsberg helping enhance girls’ scientific exploration

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Former Claremore native Annie Forsberg is doing her part to encourage girls to explore science and engineering.

As a volunteer at the Girls & Sciences event this week, Forsberg will be working with girls in hands-on science projects.
Thousands of girls from across Minnesota investigated real-life science phenomena, conducted hands-on experiments, and learned from professional women who work in science, technology and engineering fields during the 10th annual Fox9 Girls & Science event at the Science Museum of Minnesota on Saturday, October 13. 
Sponsored by Flint Hills Resources, the goal of the event is to simply foster girls’ enthusiasm for science, technology and engineering fields.  More than 5,000 people attended this year’s event.
“Flint Hills is always looking for skilled engineers and other technical experts who have a background in science.  Unfortunately, it is often difficult to find qualified individuals and harder yet to find qualified female applicants for many areas,” said Forsberg, reliability engineer at the Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery.
“Girls aren’t naturally uninterested in science; many just aren’t exposed to it enough.  We need to spark their interest in science, technology and engineering and give them the confidence they need to succeed in these subjects.”
“It’s very important for girls to have role models helping them at every stage of their scientific life, from conducting experiments with them at a young age to supporting them as they transition through school and into their careers.  
Girls & Science is an amazing way for us to inspire the next generation of female scientists,” said Jennifer Chiang, outreach director for the Society of Women Engineers at the University of Minnesota.  Jennifer was one of more than 20 University of Minnesota students who volunteered at Saturday’s event.
Nationally, women represent about one-half of the workforce, but only 24 percent of the workers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are women.  There are also fewer women than men seeking undergraduate STEM degrees.  Women make up just 21 perent of the students enrolled in the college of science and engineering at the University of Minnesota.  Science, technology and engineering are some of the fastest growing segments of the job market.

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