Blackhawk Technical College: Janesville middle and high school students learn about careers in STEM

Contact: Angie Kablar (608) 757-7776
[email protected]

JANESVILLE, WI – More than 150 girls from Marshall, Franklin and Edison Middle Schools, Parker and Craig High Schools, and Rock River, Rock University TAGOS Leadership Academy and Arise Virtual magnet schools attended Women in STEM, an event held in partnership between Blackhawk Technical College and the Janesville School District. It was held at BTC’s central campus on Monday, April 23. Designed to give girls a first-hand look at career options in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics – areas that are typically male-dominated.

“We see it as early as second grade, girls saying ‘I can’t do math’” said Patty Hernandez, Janesville School District. “Nothing could be further from the truth and we want to give girls the opportunity to see that not only can they do math but focusing on STEM can open their career possibilities.”

Students heard from professionals in a variety of STEM careers and got to participate in a variety of activities to get them thinking differently about science, technology, engineering or math.

“It was an eye-opening experience for these girls,” said Hernandez. “One attendee told me the experience taught her that ‘it’s cool to go into an area like science.’”

The goal of the Women in STEM event was to tear down the stereotypes that ‘girls can’t do math’ and get them excited about the possibilities of a career in fields that are traditionally male-dominated., “It’s about encouraging girls to study and work in these fields and raise awareness about the growing job opportunities for people with a strong background in STEM,” said Katie Lange, Enrollment Development Coordinator.

Increasing the interest in these fields is critical to our local economy as well as occupations that require a STEM background are growing at a faster rate than there are qualified people to fill them. “There are 688 manufacturing job openings in Rock County right now,” Hernandez said. “Getting girls excited and interested in these fields will close that employment gap and open up more opportunities for all of our students.”

Blackhawk Technical College is a forward-thinking, proactive college that believes in real-world experiences and hands-on training in a diverse atmosphere. Our long-term goal is to redefine what a technical college is, through flexible scheduling and delivery models, a range of program offerings, partnerships with local employers, and world-class facilities with high tech equipment – including some you won’t find anywhere else in the state of Wisconsin. BTC has five campus locations in Monroe, Milton, Beloit and Janesville and is a major provider of customized training and technical assistance for the Rock and Green County business community.