Pretty Brainy STEM symposium for girls set for April 8 on CSU campus

Monday March 27, 2017 Tags: Fort Collins, Pretty Brainy, Heidi Olinger, STEM, Janice Nerger, Ann Yanagi


LOVELAND -- Did you know, according to research supported by the National Science Foundation, that parents and teachers are a girl's No. 1 influence in her success and attitude toward STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math?Pretty_Brainy_logoUSE

Whether a girl’s goal is to navigate being the only girl in computer science, become an engineer, or just get past algebra, what do parents and teachers need to know to support her success? Why do girls who do as well as or better than boys in math judge themselves to be inferior? Why is STEM such a big deal today? How can you help your daughter when you yourself “don’t do” math and science?

Answers to these questions and more will be the focus Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. till noon at How to Raise a STEM-Confident Daughter, a Pretty Brainy-hosted symposium for parents and formal and informal educators. The event is a part of Expanding Your Horizons, a day of hands-on STEM learning and inspiration for middle school girls. The symposium will be at Colorado State University in Behavioral Sciences, 410 W. Pitkin St., Fort Collins.

Expanding Your Horizons is a national movement now in its second year in Northern Colorado.

While STEM programs for girls in Northern Colorado abound, the Pretty Brainy symposium goes to the heart of the key environments and people who influence how girls feel about STEM and about themselves as STEM students.

Presenters will include Janice Nerger, PhD, dean, College of Natural Sciences, Colorado State University; Ann Yanagi, MD, award-winning emergency physician and founder of the Fort Collins Community Orchestra; and members of Women in Technical Studies - Alpha Sigma Kappa, one of a few STEM sororities in the U.S.

A $15 registration fee includes all sessions, materials and lunch. Space is limited. Registration is required. Needs-based scholarships are available on request.

Fort Collins parent Lulu Tupper, who attended last year’s symposium, said: “The parent symposium gave me actionable tools to help my STEM-loving daughter learn, grow and thrive. The content was very relevant to my life. I learned about local STEM educational opportunities for my daughter that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. I left energized.”

Attendees at the 2017 event will gain —

·       Inspiration about what works for girls to be attracted to and interested in STEM studies, which may lead to their entering STEM careers

·       Insider perspectives on why good grades are not what girls need most to succeed in STEM studies and careers

·       Hands-on activities from which to gain insight about how adult approaches to problem-solving, thinking, communications, and teamwork influences both girls’ success — and struggles — as STEM students today

·       Critical attitudes to hold for furthering girls’ STEM interest and success as they enter adolescence                                                            

·       Resources and opportunities for maintaining momentum after the event

How to Raise a STEM-Confident Daughter is created and hosted by Heidi Olinger, founder and chief executive, Pretty Brainy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower girls to gain STEAM, or STEM plus an A for art. Pretty Brainy is based in Loveland.

The symposium will be held in the Behavioral Sciences building on the Colorado State University campus, 410 W. Pitkin St.

To register, visit For more information, call 720-203-1749.