Developing the future workforce with Penn State Lehigh Valley

Twenty girls visit campus to learn about engineering and the environment

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Future science leaders between the ages of 10 and 12 came to Penn State Lehigh Valley on June 20 to learn about science, technology, engineering, the environment and math, also known as STEEM. These students were a part of a camp hosted by the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board.

The eventful day began with a campus tour; afterward the girls were divided into two groups.

The first group was taken to a classroom where Tracey Carbonetto, instructor of mechanical engineering at Penn State Lehigh Valley, taught the campers about volume and mass, with hands-on activities. Carbonetto discussed how engineers measure the mass of an object by explaining that a bowling ball and a beach ball are the same size, but have different masses.

The second group was taken to a biology lab where Jacqueline McLaughlin, associate professor of biology at Penn State Lehigh Valley, taught them about algae and biofuel, and how to look at cells through a microscope. McLaughlin engaged the girls by asking them a series of questions about the Penn State Bio lab and cells. She then demonstrated how to put the algae cell on a microscope slide and how to properly see and count the cells through the lens.   

students learning about algae

Jacqueline McLaughlin, associate professor of biology, demonstrated how to transfer algae cells. 

Credit: Serena Younes

“There is nothing more powerful than outreach. The more we can expose students to the sciences, the more windows of opportunity we create for their futures. It's all about exposure and experiential learning,” said McLaughlin when asked why she participates in this particular event.

This camp was supported by Bosch, Inc. The Bosch STEEM CareerLinking Academy strives to teach young girls around the Lehigh Valley about science.