It may have been a frigid winter day Saturday, March 2, but that didn’t keep 25 Xcel Energy employees and thousands of girls and their families from attending the fifth annual Girls & Science.
Held at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and hosted by CBS4's Lauren Whitney, the event provided girls (and boys) the opportunity to meet women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) professions and visit a variety of "clubhouses."
Through conversations with these career women and the activities they participated in, girls discovered nothing can hold them back from exploring careers in the STEAM field. While some girls already had their minds set on their future careers, Girls & Science helped others explore all of the possibilities available to them.
"It's really about encouraging girls to explore their curiosity in science and technology," DMNS building operations manager, Amber Menzies, told CBS4. "It's about inspiration more than information."
From the green screen at CBS4's clubhouse to a scavenger hunt with the DMNS clubhouse, attendees enjoyed an immersive experience with career mentors and volunteers.
Xcel Energy was excited to run the “Power Up! Arcade” clubhouse where volunteers taught girls about the complexities of the regulatory process, what it means to be a regulated energy provider and the critical problem solving and communication skills necessary to work in the industry.
Girls of all ages lined up to participate in the clubhouse’s two hands-on activities, the “Power Up! problem solvers” challenge and an “If I Were a Ratemaker Mad Libs” game.
“Girls & Science was an amazing opportunity to expose the community to a wide variety of STEAM careers within Xcel Energy and show that a background in science can set you up for careers you might not expect, including regulatory,” said Michelle Applegate, career mentor and director of regulatory. “Although exposing girls to career opportunities is important, teaching them life skills like problem solving and communication are keys to success. And our clubhouse brought that to life.”
Applegate helped design and execute clubhouse activities based on her day-to-day career.
“It was so fun getting to show girls (and their families) some of the problems they can solve using math,” said Xcel Energy volunteer Jessy Hennesy. “Almost everybody asked for another problem, and we got to stretch their skills a bit beyond what they thought was comfortable. These girls reminded me that what we do here every day is pretty cool.”