When it comes to working in STEM professions - science, technology, engineering and math - women are still underrepresented. But our Cool Kid is trying to reverse that by encouraging young girls to explore STEM topics at an early age.
"This is a stem assembly for girls at our high school and local middle schools to come and hear firsthand women engineers speak about their experience in stem and what they do, and I want more girls to join us, because females are underrepresented," said Valentina Costarelli, a Quartz High School student.
Valentina is the co-president of the Society of Women's Engineers, Next Generation.
"There's a stigma that girls think, oh, engineering is for guys. STEM isn't for me, and that's not true," Valentina said.
This assembly was an opportunity for girls to see all that STEM and engineering fields can offer.
"So girls need to start now. So that they can be prepared for college and STEM jobs. And what better place to have a STEM assembly than in the place that Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier and Neil Armstrong trained as an astronaut. So this is a STEM-rich valley with a deep aerospace history," Valentina said.
Claudine Fair of Lockheed Martin is the adviser for the high school chapter and spoke to the girls at the assembly.
"Whenever Valentina calls, I come," Fair said. "I chose to come because I'm always, just like Valentina, encourage and want to inspire the next generation of STEM females, and I was very inspired by what I saw here."
Valentina gets rave reviews from the faculty as well.
"Valentina goes above and beyond. The rest of us have to stay up with her. She's the one that spear-headed this. It's been her brain child," said Brent Kerns, a senior engineering teacher.
Sounds like Valentina is on her way to a great STEM career!
Cool Kid Valentina Costarelli encourages girls to explore STEM professions
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