SCC Press Release

Eighth Grade Girls to Investigate their Future at SCC Event on May 11

Southeastern Community College’s “Investigate Your Future,” educational event for 8th grade girls will take place on Friday, May 11 on the West Burlington campus. Over 200 girls from school districts across Southeast Iowa are expected to attend.  “Investigate Your Future” will provide interactive, hands-on sessions that expose girls to a careers in science, technology, engineering and math.  The girls will be able to choose the sessions of interest to them.

SCC Work-Based Learning Specialist Pat Bensmiller explains that the sessions will help girls better understand career options and the education required to prepare for the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

Bensmiller says this is the second year that SCC has sponsored this event. “Last year’s event was so well received that we decided to do it again.”

Bensmiller adds that this event is part of a larger initiative to encourage students to follow careers in STEM subjects. “With so many career choices available today, it’s hard to break through the clutter. There is a national shortage of professionals in these vital careers, so there are tons of opportunities. We need to make students aware of what’s out there.”

Females are considerably underrepresented in STEM careers, which are typically male-dominated fields. Events like this that specifically target young girls can help reverse that trend.

“Research shows that students begin to identify possible careers they might want to pursue while they’re in middle school. We need to get to them now,” Bensmiller explains.

Session like “Wild and Crazy Chemistry,” “Ride a Bike to Earn Your Electricity,” “Robotics: It’s Not Just Science Fiction” feature the practical, fun sides of what are perceived as complicated technical careers. Many of the sessions are facilitated by female professionals.

Bensmiller points out, “girls need to be exposed to non-traditional careers by learning, doing, and creating so they can see what exciting opportunities there are for them.”  

For more information about Investigate Your Future, contact Pat Bensmiller at (319) 208-5047 or

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