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If you saw a group of tween girls crowded around the entrance to a building, you might think they were waiting for an autograph from a pop star -- not a chance to meet with scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
But yesterday morning at the Q?rius center at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, you’d have been wrong: middle schoolers crowded the doors waiting for a chance to meet with 40 mentors from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
These professionals from across the federal government volunteered two hours of their mornings to talk to the students -- mostly girls -- about their jobs and help spark an interest in STEM education. A vast array of STEM fields were represented, from environmental professionals to NASA engineers to medical researchers, enabling students to ask questions about many careers and the accompanying science.
And not only did these professionals give two hours of their time, but they pledged to continue to mentor these students -- whether through help with science projects or brown bag lunch sessions.