Idaho National Laboratory Urges Young Women to Pursue STEM Careers

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is urging young women to explore a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

More than 150 eighth-graders from Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Shelley, Firth, Fort Hall and Pocatello participated in a daylong March 10 event organized by INL employees with support from several sponsors. Teachers selected students to attend the event based on their interest in math and science, and other factors. Organizers also targeted schools with larger populations of minority and disadvantaged students.

Students participated in a full day of hands-on sessions that illustrate how a STEM education translates into exciting career options. The teens had an opportunity to explore topics such as DNA Extraction from a Strawberry, Cyber-securing Your Future, Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators, and more. Presenters included INL employees, as well as other professionals in STEM-related fields.

The young women also had the opportunity to hear from keynote speaker Bernadette Hernandez-Sanchez during lunch. Hernandez-Sanchez is the Advanced Materials Program lead for Sandia National Laboratories' Water Power Technologies program, where she leads the Marine Hydrokinetic and Wind Materials Database. Beyond her technical expertise, Hernandez-Sanchez recently received the prestigious 2016 Technical Achievement Award at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Conference, has mentored more than 50 interns, and has developed an interactive STEM workshop that has reached over 5,000 students.

INL prepared the following video as part of the daylong session.