150 local girls gain hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering, math careers

150 local girls gain hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering, math careers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — About 150 Girls from two local middle schools in our area are getting some hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

It’s the second year the event is being put on by the American Heart Association to inspire girls early on to consider a job in STEM fields.

Kamari Williams is an eighth grader at the Leadership Academies at Eugene J. Butler Middle School.

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Science and math are her favorite subjects.

"I’m really good with numbers and I think that’ always been my kind of thing and then science has always intrigued me since I was young," Kamari said.

Right now, she’s learning from strong women in the community talk about careers in science, technology, engineering and math at the University of North Florida’s campus.

Kamari is joining a filled with her classmates and other students from KIPP Impact Middle School for National STEM day hosted by the American Heart Association.

The group tells us although women represent half of the workforce, they only hold 25% of the roles in STEM fields.

The goal is to give these girls hands-on experience to inspire them to go into a STEM career.

"We know that when they’re at the middle school age, they are going to be the most receptive to learning new things and the most open," Wilson, the Executive Director of the American Heart Association, said.

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The organization picked these two middle schools because it says African American communities are less likely to go into STEM fields.

"We want to work with schools who may not have these resources now as it pertains to STEM," Wilson said.

Wilson to give them confidence they need to pursue those jobs that are normally dominated by men.

"I would tell them not to be scared to do what they love and try their best because even if people try to bring them down, you shouldn’t really care what other people think," Williams said.

Kamari is hoping to take what she learns Friday and to apply it to a career in engineering and computer science one day.