Students explore science careers at STEM conference

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (WOTV) The Ottawa Intermediate School District sent 23 young women to the 2014 Science Careers in Search of Women Conference in Chicago. They participated in a two-day STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Career exploration in the Chicago area over Spring Break.  The trip was hosted by the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District for the third consecutive year.

The students and chaperones toured The Plant to learn more about the concept of closed-loop vertical farming, food-focused business incubator model and the site’s long-term plans for utilize an anaerobic digester to process organic waste to provide energy to enable to site to operate free of electricity when fully operational.

The conference included keynote speakers, panel discussions, lunch meetings, and facility tours designed to provide students opportunities to interact with female scientists and engineers in a variety of settings.

At both sites, students interacted directly with professionals from the life science, physical science, and engineering career fields to discuss educational opportunities as well as career options and experiences, particularly as they relate to women in science and engineering fields. Students from the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District are the only students from outside the state of Illinois to ever participate in the 27 year history of this event.

The young ladies are from five Ottawa County high schools: Allendale Public Schools, Holland Christian Schools, iCademy Global, Saugatuck Public Schools, and Zeeland West High School.

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