Program in Poplar Bluff, MO aims to get girls into science

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Many high school girls may see a future for themselves in science after Tuesday, March 28.

A program in Poplar Bluff, Missouri is aimed at getting girls into tech.

Science, technology, engineering and math.

At "Big Bang Theory for Girls" in Poplar Bluff, high school freshmen got a hands-on look at them all.

"We know that girls have the same ability as boys as regards to science and mathematics, but they don't have the same amount of confidence that boys do when they get into high school and they tend to shy away from those careers," said Becki Shrum with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Shrum said this event allowed them to find something they like and see a future in it.

"We can kinda, like, build a career path because you start looking at a career path your freshman year," said Taylar Grimes, a Clarkton High School freshman.

"Girls of all ages need to be encouraged to use their brains because there are a lot of smart girls, but they're discouraged because, 'Oh, we're just meant to look pretty,' but no, they can be equally as intelligent as men," said Lauren Robertson, an eighth grader at Poplar Bluff Middle School.

The young women participated in workshops from chemistry to forensic science, information technology and even robotics.

"Girls are every bit as qualified to work in STEM fields as boys, but they are underrepresented in that workplace and we have to get that out to our girls and we have to encourage them to explore those opportunities," Shrum said.

She said not only does it encourage them, but it shows the teenagers that they aren't alone in their interests.

"Girls can be girls and you can do typical things, but you can also excel in math and science," Shrum continued.

"Try as many things as you can," Lauren Robertson said. "Wear as many hats as you can and see what interests you and go from there."

Around 160 girls from 17 schools in southeast Missouri participated in the event.

All were selected based on their interest in STEM subjects.

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