2020 STEM Pathways for Girls Conference

2020 STEM Pathways for Girls Conference

STEM Santa Fe Presents
2020 STEM Pathways for Girls Conference – Virtual!
Open to Northern New Mexico girls in 5th-8th grade

Dedicated to the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Conference Program

Congratulations to our Contest Winners of the photo, video and essay contests.
Congratulations to Jolene C. for winning the $50 Amazon gift card for filling out the conference post-survey
Congratulations to the raffle winners of the STEM prizes at each workshop.

Family STEM events Live on Youtube
Friday, November 13, 6:30 PM –  Opening Program, Welcoming messages, Tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Keynote address.
Saturday Nov. 14, 6:30 PM – Special Presentation on smartphone microscope and Contest announcement and raffle prizes drawings.
Sunday, Nov 15, 6:30 PM – Closing Program, Tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Contests announcements and raffle prizes drawings.
Saturday and Sunday Nov 14-15: Twelve hands-on and engaging workshops throughout the day via Zoom.  Each participant may choose up tp four out of twelve available STEM workshops, each offered twice throughout Saturday and Sunday via Zoom.

$25 Registration fee, and waived upon request when needed.


Friday November 13, 6:30: Opening Ceremony and Keynote Address
Keynote Speaker: Susan Martinez, BSME
NASA Additive Manufacturing Engineer,
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama

Saturday November 14, 6:30: Special Presentation
Melinda Higgins
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy
“Multiple STEM Perspectives—Exploring Your World with a Different Lens”

Sunday November 15, 6:30: Special Presentation
History Science Theatre LIVE by Matheatre
on the life of Madam Marie Curie

Registration ended and we had a successful conference – Tune in next fall

Parents Corner

Due to our funding restrictions, this conference is open to students in Northern New Mexico, and priority will be given to students in the following counties: Santa Fe, Taos, San Miguel, Mora, Sandoval, Rio Arriba, and Los Alamos.

All camps are virtual via Zoom but will require parents to pick up materials in Santa Fe/Española/Los Alamos area the week of November 9.

Registration process: Space is limited.  Please fill out the form below to reserve a space for your child. A confirmation email with more instructions and details to follow.

Parent/Guardian needs to register their child on this Registration Form.

El padre / tutor debe registrar a su hijo en este formulario de registro.

Groups of 10 or more will need to contact registration@stemsantafe.org and will not be accepted using this form above.

Questions? Call (505) 539-0394 or email registration@stemsantafe.org

Preguntas? Llame al (505) 539-0394 o envíe un correo electrónico a registration@stemsantafe.org

Workshops Descriptions

We have many exciting virtual workshops for girls to choose from!

All the presenters are women working in STEM professions who want you to experience the challenge and fun of STEM!

1.1 / 2.1 The Science of Sound

Workshop Presenter:
Brittany Branch, Sandia National Labs

Sound is part of our everyday lives! Explore the science of sound: what is sound, how does sound travel, and why is this important in science? You will conduct experiments: make a balloon scream, build a pan flute, “see” sound.

5.1 /6.1 All About Gears: From Clocks to Cars

Workshop Presenter:
Katherine Schreiber, Los Alamos National Lab

Gears are used the world over and for thousands of years.  Experiment with gears and how they are used in clocks, trains, and cars.  Learn about mechanical engineering and physics in this hands-on workshop.

1.2 /2.2 Build a Prosthetic Leg … For an Elephant!

Workshop Presenter:
Kaarin Goncz, New Mexico Tech

Learn what Biomedical Engineers do on the job by designing an artificial leg to help an elephant!  Animals can be injured just like people, and they need prosthetic limbs, too.  Put on your engineering hat and create a design with function, comfort, and durability.

5.2 /6.2 Outbreak Investigation

Workshop Presenter:
Courtney Shelley, Los Alamos National Lab

How do scientists investigate disease outbreaks and how they might spread through America?  In this workshop, you will use arithmetic to look into the cause of a food borne disease outbreak, and investigate how infectious diseases spread.  Learn about what epidemiologists do!

1.3 /2.3 DNA Challenge

Workshop Presenter:
Joann Mudge, National Center for Genome Resources

Come join us as we use DNA to explore some of the weirder creatures on the planet. We’ll look at ice cream cone worms, pink fairy armadillos, real life sea monsters and more! You will learn how to figure out which DNA sequence belongs to each creature, make a DNA model for your favorite weird creature, and identify the closest relatives of a couple of sea monsters.

5.3 /6.3 Creating Stellar Constellations and Hunting Black Holes

Workshop Presenter:
Kristen Dage, McGill Space Institute

Join a professional astronomer and study the sky.  Make your own constellations.  Investigate how the gravity of black holes pulls on stars and planets through your own experiments. Learn how astronomers look for new planets and study light.

    Note: Workshop requires downloading Stellarium Astronomy Software.

3.1 /4.1 Plants, Water and Climate

Workshop Presenter:
Sanna Sevanto, Los Alamos National Lab

Conduct your own experiments to learn how plants influence our climate, and how climate influences plants.  Join a scientist in studying plant water uptake, and how different plants use water, conduct photosynthesis, and respond to changes in climate.

7.1 /8.1 Blasting Into Space

Workshop Presenter:
Shelly Gruenig, STEM Southwest Podcast

Join a scientist and learn about rockets and going into space!  Scientists and engineers need to think about rocket design, how to get a payload into orbit, how to survive the harsh environment of space, and return astronauts and experiments to Earth.

3.2 /4.2 Adventures in Archaeology

Workshop Presenter:
Patricia Byers, US Bureau of Land Management

Step into the role of an archaeologist for the afternoon, with two hands-on activities that will demonstrate some of the unique skills of an archaeologist. Also learn about dendrochronology, palynology, and osteology.  Are you an archaeologist? Take this workshop and find out!

7.2 /8.2 Exploring the pH Scale with Acid/Base Chemistry

Workshop Presenter:
Joann Latorre, New Mexico State University

Why does bleach make your clothes white?  Why does vinegar taste tart?  Your home has many “acids” and “bases”, and scientists measure these with the pH scale.  In this hands-on workshop, come spend an hour with a professional Chemist and explore!

3.3 /4.3 Soil Engineering: Shallow & Deep Foundations

Workshop Presenter:
Meghan Vallejo McDonald, State of New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department

If you were going to build a tall skyscraper or a bridge across the Rio Grande, what should you consider? How about the soil and rock under the ground?  In this workshop, build your own test bed with layers of pebbles, soil, sand; then, do experiments to understand shallow and deep foundations, soil settlement, bearing pressure, and how engineers design in real life.

7.3 /8.3 Engineering Roller Coasters: Fun with Physics

Workshop Presenter:
Debbie Post, Sandia National Labs

Be a Civil Engineer for a day and design your own roller coaster for marbles!  And have fun with physics, learning about potential energy, kinetic energy, friction and gravity.  You will build your own marble accelerator ramp to transform potential energy into kinetic energy.  Then, design a roller coaster with a loop, managing your marble’s energy to get to the end.


How many workshops will each girl attend?

Each participant can attend 2 workshops. Each workshop is 1.5 hours long. There will also be a keynote address and other activities that the girls are also welcome to attend.

Can girls attend from anywhere in the world?

Currently, due to limited funding, only girls living in the seven counties and pueblos of Northern New Mexico are eligible to attend. Those counties are: Santa Fe, Taos, San Miguel, Mora, Sandoval, Rio Arriba, and Los Alamos.

How much is the registration fee?

The registration fee is $25 per girl.

What if we cannot afford the registration fee but would still like my child to attend?

The registration form will ask if you will like us to waive the fee for your child.

Why does the registration process involve multiple steps?

We need to ensure your child’s safety and to confirm that all the girls registered are from Northern NM. We will review all registration forms and send an additional email to the parent or guardian of the child regarding enrollment status.

Where can I find the permission form and how do I send it in? 

If your child is confirmed for enrollment into the conference, the email we send regarding their status will provide the permission form. It will be available in both English and Spanish. 

You can print, sign, and send back the form either electronically or through mail. The specific addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses you can send to will be provided in the confirmation email.

You can sign electronically and email back to us.

You can sign a physical copy of the form when picking up your child’s materials.

Should none of these options be convenient for you, please review the form we provide you thoroughly. Then simply email us back with the following message: “I have read the STEM Santa Fe’s 2020 STEM Pathways for Girls program Permission Form attached to this email and I agree to it.”

How are the workshops going to be hands-on?

Based on the workshops the girls register for, they will receive materials a week before the conference during our designated pick-up times. These materials will be used during their workshop and under the guidance of the workshop presenter to provide a hands-on experience.

Where can I pick up my materials?

We plan on having pick-up locations throughout Northern NM for the convenience of our conference participants. Pick-up locations will be determined after registration based on the locations of participants.

What technology will the participants need to use?

The workshop will take place via Zoom. Generally, any desktop, laptop, or chromebook should work. We do not suggest using tablets or iPads. Students will be required to join us briefly the weekend of November 7th or 8th so we can confirm that their technology will work.

What if I do not have any reliable technology that my child can use for the conference? 

Technology Assistance is available as needed and as much as possible. We will do a technology test with you and your child the week before the conference.

We have a limited number of laptops available that we can loan to you and your child strictly for the conference, free of charge. If you know ahead of time that you will need assistance with technology, please let us know as soon as possible after you receive your confirmation for enrollment email.

What platform are we using?

We will mainly be using Zoom. Students will need to download the zoom app, as it has more capabilities than the web/browser version.

Chromebooks: https://blog.zoom.us/how-to-use-zoom-on-a-chromebook/

 iPad: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362993-Getting-Started-with-iOS

*How to share a screen: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115005890803-iOS-Screen-Sharing

PC/Mac: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362033-Getting-Started-on-Windows-and-Mac

2020 STEM Pathways for Girls Conference Planning Committee

Lina Germann, Conference Chair
Zoe Ledbetter, Workshops Committee
Debra (Debbie) Post, Workshops Committee
Kara Luitjohan, Registration Committee
Patricia Maslow, Registration Committee
Hope Cahill, Registration Committee
Imani Adams, Volunteer and Program Committee
Shauna Adams, Volunteer and Program Committee
Alexandra (Alex) Jonko, IT Committee
Jessica Shaw, IT Committee

In addition to the wonderful workshop presenters and many of the volunteers who are committed to making this conference successful, we are thankful for the talents and support of our Graphic Design intern Joshua Haggard and our dedicated volunteer Lisa Van De Graaff for her input as a parent.