GENEVA – Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, hosted a Women in STEM panel discussion and the STEM Scholars high school graduation ceremony July 11, attended by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti and women who are science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals.
The discussion and graduation were held at FONA International in Geneva to celebrate the inaugural class of STEM Scholars, a 14th Congressional District youth leadership STEM program, according to a news release.
“The energy, excitement and leadership abilities of our high school STEM Scholars were on full display at FONA International, a great bookend as the location of our first meeting at the beginning of the school year,” Hultgren stated in the release. ”Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti’s keynote and inspiring discussion from women in STEM careers capped off a fun and celebratory evening. Following our many meetings and visits to local businesses, educational institutions, national labs and more, it is clear these students are destined for great things in STEM, and I look ahead to see where their education and careers take them.”
Sanguinetti shared advice with students, noting the state of Illinois will benefit greatly from the skills they are developing through their studies, which she described as “a big deal,” calling STEM “the most in-demand area of the 21st century.”
“This program has been more than just a monthly meeting at an interesting place – it’s been an adventure,” Faith Twardzik, STEM Scholars class speaker, stated in the release.
After the graduation ceremony, Hultgren co-moderated the panel with University of Alabama sophomore Annie Hubbard, who studies aerospace engineering. The two first met in St. Louis at the FIRST Robotics World Championships.
The all-female panel discussed issues important to STEM careers: What a work day looks like, how jobs will change in the near future, and the importance of mentorships, according to the release.
Panelists included Rose of Sharon DeVos of Pioneer Service, Arlene Hawks of SciTech Museum, Hannah Rueger of FONA International, Aneesa Muthana of Pioneer Service and Diane Homan of Rush Copley Medical Center.
Hultgren is accepting applications for the 2017-18 STEM Scholars class. For more information, visit hultgren.house.gov/serving-you/stem-scholars.