ORLANDO, Fla. – Central Florida is celebrating Computer Science Education Week, and many schools are doing activities to get students interested in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM fields.
Timber Springs Middle School hosted a special event Monday called Girl Engineers of Tomorrow.
Girls in grades five through eight are being inspired to consider the STEM field by professional women blazing trails in the industry.
Aerospace engineering student and aspiring astronaut Jillian Gloria, along with the Central Florida Chapter of Women in Defense, presented the students with information about careers in their industries.
"It's really important we show girls there are people who look like them, act like them and are doing great, momentous things, like building rocket ships," Gloria said. "It's important that they see physically someone who looks like them because it will make them believe they can do it too."
After a question-and-answer session with the speakers, the girls applied their inspiration in a hands-on activity with some design challenges and an hour of code activities.
"I think it's a really good thing to see adult women in engineering because it inspires little girls they can do that, that it's not all men that work in engineering," eighth-grade student Mikayla Crawford said.