Women and Mr. Kwan in STEM

“An Evening Celebrating Women in STEM” took place this year on Tuesday, January 29 in our own MPR. Hosted by the Explorit Science Center, The American Association of University Women, and DVCA, this event was a hit for girls of all ages throughout the Davis area.

This evening event boasted a panel of six female scientists in occupations ranging from the Chief Economist at the California Department of Finance, who examines trends that occur over people and money across the state, to a retired Laboratory Director of the California Department of Justice DNA Lab, who studied the tiny things within us that make each person different. Attendees learned about each panel members’ education and the path that each took to their current positions. Teigen Johnson, a Da Vinci junior, observed that, “Each woman had a passion for their career and it was great to hear about their personal experiences and what fascinates them about their individual fields.”

After the panel introductions, smaller groups of attendees had the opportunity to speak with each woman. Johnson added, “I learned that you can reach high places and become successful and happy, without having a plan or knowing what you would like to do while you’re still just in high school.” Leaving with another bit of wisdom, Johnson notes, “No matter your gender, just be determined and work harder than those around you.”

The beauty in events like this are in the unique experiences and interactions for everyone attending – even to Mr. Kwan, our famed Physics and Chemistry teacher. Mr. Kwan also attended this event, pointing out, “Your career path is very subject to change and that’s okay and that you should do what interests you so you can do it for a long time. It’s not just a job, it’s a career.” This is universal, whether or not you are looking to be a woman in STEM, or to be a world renowned florist. Taking the time to find what you love and enjoy becomes worth it.

Ultimately, the lessons from the event can be repurposed in many walks of life. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s okay to not have a perfectly defined education and career plan, as long as you also work hard, are determined to succeed, and to seek things that bring you joy. On a final note, Mr. Kwan reminds everyone, “It’s definitely an event that will continue to happen and should happen again.” Keep an eye out for a flyer for the next event!

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