Northern Michigan University will host the 2012 Marquette-Alger Young WomenvMath and Science Conference on Friday, May 4. Attendees will include more than 150 girls in 5th and 6th grades, along with professional educators and guidance counselors. The keynote speaker will be NASA engineer Sheila Bailey.

Women are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM (science, technology,
engineering and math) fields. The goal of the conference is to expose girls to these rewarding and potentially lucrative professional opportunities through hands-on activities led by women currently working in STEM careers. Meanwhile, teachers will engage in professional development designed to enhance their knowledge about best practices in programming, mentoring and encouraging girls to consider STEM disciplines.

The conference begins at 9:30 a.m. in Jamrich 103 with introductory remarks and the keynote presentation. Students will then disperse to the Seaborg Center in West Science for three sessions of hands-on activities with a physicist, mathematician and electrical, mechanical and environmental engineers. A noon luncheon will follow.