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HLPUSD Female Middle School Students Unlock Potential, Celebrate Innovation During STEM Program

HLPUSD Female Middle School Students Unlock Potential, Celebrate Innovation During STEM Program
Andrea Torres

Hacienda La Puente Unified eighth-grade girls from across the District journeyed to Whittier College to hear inspiring words and success stories from innovative female leaders and young women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the 29th annual American Association of University Women (AAUW) Math and Science Conference titled "Unlimited Potential" on January 11.

The cutting-edge and highly anticipated conference, experienced by HLPUSD's young trailblazers for more than two decades, aims to ignite passion and motivation among girls to dream big, work hard, and pursue careers that have historically been underrepresented.

“I enjoyed the conference, and that I had an opportunity to ask the speakers questions,” Sparks Middle School student Evelyn Maya said. “I liked that the speakers were able to share their story, where they went to school and how sometimes you go into college not knowing what you want to do. I really enjoyed hearing the Architect Story!" 

The conference spotlighted 20 guest speakers with a diverse range of professional backgrounds, from chemical engineering and veterinary medicine to food science and psychology, who shared motivational stories, discussed the advancement of STEM education and its demand in the high-tech workforce, and emphasized the endless opportunities for women to invent and innovate. 

"I have chaperoned this event for 20 years now, and each year it is always a delight to see the smiles on their faces and hear the positive feedback and camaraderie amongst the girls," Orange Grove Middle School Counselor Eva Torres said, "As a school counselor, I am grateful that our students have the unique opportunities that this conference provides so they can hear success stories firsthand, connect with like-minded students and professionals and explore STEM concepts in the real world."

Students also had the opportunity to delve into the educational backgrounds of different fields, gain insights into the branches of various professions, and engage in exciting hands-on activities.

Hacienda La Puente Unified is proud to offer a wide variety of STEM extracurriculars, programs, clubs and Career Technical Education pathways for our students interested in exploring science, technology, engineering and math. Please get in touch with your child's school site for a list of upcoming opportunities, including registration information regarding our 2024 Enrichment Summer Camps.

"Events like the cherished AAUW Math and Science Conference play a crucial role in molding the aspirations of young girls," Superintendent Dr. Alfonso Jiménez said. "As a District committed to dismantling barriers and equipping our students to thrive in a perpetually technologically advancing world, we are delighted to motivate young women to pursue their dreams and aid in closing the gender pay gap by fostering a more inclusive future in STEM fields."