During the last week of July, something amazing happened at Keene State College’s “Kids On Campus” program when a group of middle school girls were able to see what it would be like to imagine themselves as future engineers and scientists. Exceptionally gifted instructors wrote challenging, yet fun, STEM and STEAM curriculum and designed activities, which left a remarkable impression on these young local students.

The girls came away with the understanding that it’s okay not to have all the answers — to tinker and try new things, to fail and try again and to collaborate and practice in a real world, real work setting. These young women left feeling more confident in knowing that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. This all happened because they spent a week in the “Go STEM” program, a partnership between KSC, local industry, civic organizations and a staff of educators who believe that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are the new frontiers for young women.

This year the girls made wind vanes, which were part of the wind power theme for the week. They were made from recycled bicycle parts donated by the Bellows Falls Community Bike Project. The completed vanes were donated back to the project. Bonnie Anderson traveled down to present bike maintenance and safety. Thanks to Bonnie and the Bellows Falls Community Bike Project.

For the second year, The Mountain Corp. donated original Go STEM T-shirts. Colleen Manzi and Michaella Coffield came to present them and to explain how they were made. Thank you for the Mountain’s generous donation. The girls loved them!

Thank you to our amazing instructors: Dr. Lisa Hix, Associate Professor SPDI, Mrs. Phyllis Marinoff from the Gilsum STEAM Academy and Ms. Julia Imbarrato, environmental science teacher from Keene High School.

Thank you to the following individuals:

Erin Hartgraves, a SPDI student who took time from her internship to come back to the college to be a wonderful role model for the girls and to help with the project; Francie Benton from Markem Imaje for spending the day, helping with the project and sharing her knowledge; Sofia C. Cunha-Vasconcelos and intern Sara Gorske from Corning Specialty Materials; Kelly Randall from Hypertherm; Natasa Savic-Remella, Pooja Jain and Patti Carrier from New Hampshire Ball Bearing; Erin Kyle from Apple in California. The girls loved skyping.

Thank you to all our volunteers:Kathy Halverson, Susan Newcomer, Lee Schuette and Margaret Kasschau.

So many business, civic organizations, foundations and individuals financially supported Go STEM. The week would not have occurred without your help. A very special thank you to Denny Hylton and the Corning Foundation and Hypertherm’s Hope Foundation.

Thank you to Tidland /Maxcess, Markem-Imaje, Whelen Engineering, Savings Bank of Walpole, AAUW, KSC Women’s group, New Hampshire Ball Bearing, Stingray Optics, ABTech, Keene Rotary, Filtrine, Thomas Drilling Corp., Dunkin Donuts, Mascoma Bank, Douglas Toy, Graphicast, Maria Brillant, Jane Norton, Cheryl and Jay Kahn, and Riki and Mitch Greenwald.

Dr. Melinda Treadwell, interim president of Keene State College, met with the girls and expressed her support. Thank you, Dr. Treadwell.

Lastly, thank you to our young ladies who attended. You were amazing! Your future is limitless … aim high and make a difference.

Susan Silk

Project Manager, “Go STEM”

5 Benton Road