Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) partnered with the Carnegie Science Center as host for a “Tour Your Future” event, where girls from across the region met female professionals who work in fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Last week, 11 girls, ages 13 to 15, discovered cutting-edge research being done in women’s reproductive health, including how worms might be the key to fertility. They also participated in hands-on exercises, including using 3-D printed models.
“I always knew these organs were in my body, but I never knew how they specifically worked,” said 15-year-old participant Ann Kozak.
The field trip was an effort to spark the girls’ interest in science-related fields, specifically reproductive health. Female scientists emphasized the importance of women helping other women by researching and developing drugs that cure fatal illnesses. During a presentation on HIV, Dr. Sharon Hillier, director of reproductive infectious disease research, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, and primary investigator, MWRI, shared how MWRI’s HIV prevention research benefits women around the world.
“Women and girls belong in STEM,” said Michael Annichine, chief executive officer of MWRI. “We were excited to be able to offer an opportunity designed to inspire and encourage young women in pursuing the field of science and, in particular, women’s health.”