Girls learn about STEM careers at WKCTC November 7
NASA flight director and Princeton native keynote speaker
Paducah, KY (10/11/2019) — Girls in fifth grade through high school are invited to a fun learning experience at the 2019 STEM 4 Girls Conference at West Kentucky Community and Technical College November 7.
STEM 4 Girls is a free event that features hands-on activities and demonstrations to inspire the students to learn about educational and career choices in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The event will be held in WKCTC's Clemens Fine Arts Center from 5-8 p.m. Registration is now open online at paducahchamber.org, under Upcoming Events. On-site registration begins at 5 p.m. Pre-registration is encouraged.
Rebecca Wingfield, a NASA flight director at Johnson Space Center in Texas and a graduate of Caldwell County High School, will be the evening's keynote speaker.
Wingfield oversees the planning, training and execution of human spaceflight missions. She was selected as a Flight Director in 2018 and is the 92nd Flight Director in the history of American human spaceflight. She began her career at NASA as a Flight Controller for the International Space Station (ISS) as an Operations Support Officer (OSO), responsible for all mechanisms and maintenance performed aboard the spacecraft. Wingfield is a 2002 graduate of Caldwell County High School, a 2007 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and a 2015 graduate of the University of Houston - Clear Lake with a master of science degree in systems engineering.
Wingfield said it's always fun to come home, and to combine that with the opportunity to talk about space and how dreams can come true."As a little girl growing up in western Kentucky, I never felt limited in what I could do. I really want that same message to resonate with the girls at the event," she said. "'You can be whatever you want to be is true.'"
Mellisa Duncan, Challenger Learning Center at Paducah center director, said "Ms. Wingfield is an excellent role model for all girls who are interested in STEM related careers. It is even more impactful that she grew up in the west Kentucky area and now works for NASA in the very prestigious and unique role of flight director. We are so excited to be able to facilitate her visit to inspire our local girls!"
A light sack dinner will be served in the college's Student Center from 5-5:30 p.m. Wingfield's comments and opening ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Clemens Center followed by two breakout sessions led by local women STEM leaders. Students will have a chance to win door prizes throughout the evening.
The event program sponsor is Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership. Event gold sponsors are Arkema, Inc.; Baptist Health Paducah; Business Education Partnership; Challenger Learning Center at Paducah; Ingevity; Intecgroup; Mercy Health-Lourdes Hospital; Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, Swift & Staley, HDR, and WKCTC. Silver event sponsors are Harrison Street Baptist Church and Paducah Professional Women.