Six students from Bethpage High School recently participated in a seminar for young women interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics offered by Hofstra University and the Women’s Summer Program in Computing/Engineering.
Juniors Aurrel Bhatia, Suchitha Channapatnam, Ruchitha Channapatna, Theresa Thulasidas and Ava Zingone and senior Maya Maciel-Seidman engaged with a panel of women about career opportunities in areas related specifically to computer science and engineering. The program offered information for the high school students that their normal curriculum might not cover.
“We are still trying to discover our passions, and what fields we want to go into,” Theresa said. “The W-SPiCE seminar offered some much-needed insight into the workforce.”
The seminar is designed to help students learn in an inclusive environment and to develop leadership and communication skills necessary to enter the workforce with confidence. The sessions focused on specific areas, including environmental and biomedical engineering, and offered an inside look into the reality of being a woman in a male-dominated field.
“I participated in a panel with a local environmental engineering firm and it was very interesting to hear from not just engineers in the field, but female engineers in the field,” Maya said. “The panel was very informative, and I learned a lot about the career opportunities in environmental engineering.”
Each of the young women from Bethpage were inspired by the program, and felt it provided them with important information about the possibilities of their future careers in STEM.
“Hearing from women in different sectors across the STEM fields was not only educational and insightful, but also extremely empowering,” Aurrel said. “We were able to get an inside look at the roles and responsibilities of the different positions these women hold and be able to have an honest discussion about what it means to be a woman in STEM.”