Middle school math students attend Power Breakfast

Alliance News |

Meet Ms. Katrina Hall, a middle school math teacher at Hollis Brookline Middle School, and Patricia Marquette. She brought a class of young women students to the recent TechWomen Power Breakfast on February 10. We caught up with her to find out why, and what she and her students thought of the event.

Hollis students

NHHTC: What about this particular NHHTC TechWomen Power Breakfast interested you in not only attending, but extending that invitation to your students?

KH: We have had quite a few young ladies reach out to us this past year looking for STEM opportunities ranging from summer camps to possible afterschool activities. We further reached out to our community and were lucky enough to connect with Teri Port. Teri connected us with the NHHTC and the TechWomen Power Breakfast. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to inspire our girls and connect them with women who have met and overcome challenges in various fields of study.

What do you hope your students gain from this experience?

KH: We hope to see girls inspired by female leaders and representatives from the STEM field. As the girls learn and hear the success stories, it is our hope to inspire them and widen their scope of opportunities.

Then, she asked her students the following questions. Here’s what they said.

What do you girls hope to gain from an experience like this one?

  • At this breakfast I would like to gain more knowledge of my future. I hope to learn more about the STEM system and learn more about career options.
  • At this breakfast I hope to learn more about the STEM field and the jobs within the field. I also hope to learn more about my capability as a female in jobs that are STEM related. I also hope to learn more about the careers in technology and engineering.
  • I want to learn more about what I can do in the future. If I don’t look at all my options, I could regret it in the future. I am interested in learning more about these careers and what people have been through, to see if it is something for me.

Are you interested in pursuing a future in STEM?

  • I personally find STEM to be very interesting, but I do not know yet if I am going to choose a career involving STEM. I still am deciding what career path I would like to pursue.
  • Right now I am not really sure about what I am going to do. It does sound very interesting, but my main focus is to find out what I am good at and what I enjoy so I can know in the future. I am only in eighth grade, I still have time.
  • I am interested in neurobiology, astronomy, and mathematics. I would like to learn more about technology and engineering as well, because it seems like an interesting career to have. It would be wonderful to have a career specifying in neurobiology, exploring the mysteries of the brain, or to have a career in astronomy, where I can discover many things about space and its potential. I can even incorporate my knowledge of mathematics, engineering, and technology into my career. STEM would benefit me in many ways, and I am interested in pursuing a career in that category.

Reflections after breakfast

Ms. Hall had the chance to ask the girls a similar question after the event and also what they thought of the breakfast. Many responded that, “the breakfast was great!” And while several mentioned they weren’t necessarily interested in software programming (something speaker Heather Lavoie touched on quite a bit) they did enjoy learning that STEM encompasses a great many things in the science and technology fields.

More opportunities for young women in STEM

The Council’s TechWomen | Tech Girls Committee is a great resource for news and events. Learn more.

Girls’ Technology Days 2016 is a statewide initiative focused on many aspects of STEM education, happening March 15, 17 and 18. Learn more.

Our Power Breakfasts take place on the second Wednesday of each month, and students are always welcome. To coordinate a group to attend, contact the Council at 603.935.8951.