Greenwich Academy, an all-girls private school in Greenwich, Connecticut, is set to lead a new conference on women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields this spring. From April 12-14, high school girls from Greenwich and other area schools will meet for the GAINS Network Conference, to be held at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
With board members such as Rene Kern of General Atlantic, Greenwich has a long history of supporting young women who wish to pursue STEM subjects. The school’s academic technology program provides faculty and students with both tools and training, including computer access, multimedia options, a 3D printer, and even a robotics lab.
The creation of the GAINS Network (Girls Advancing In STEM) was an outgrowth of this dedication to technology and science in everyday life. As the brainchild of Dr. Ann Decker, the Network connects young women interested in STEM topics with professionals already in the field for online mentoring and information swapping. The Network’s goal is to build a strong female presence in STEM fields and allow for the free-flowing sharing of ideas and opportunities for women of all ages.
Up until now, the Network has existed primarily as an online message board and website. However, with this first GAINS Network Conference, the opportunities are entering the non-virtual world as well. The conference will include technical talks, hands-on activities, small group discussions, and tours of labs and businesses.
“It is our goal to cultivate a national network of peer and mentoring support for female STEM professionals of the future,” said Greenwich Academy Head of School Molly King. “These relationships enhance self-confidence, increase awareness of career options, and empower girls as they pursue educational and professional pursuits in these fields.”
Speakers will include Whitehead Institute member Dr. Susan Lindquist, Google software engineer Michele Moorlock, Cambridge Consultants engineer Leslie Johnston, and Greenwich Academy alum and Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Elizabeth Frates.