Big Bang Friday entices young women to enter science and math fi - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Big Bang Friday entices young women to enter science and math fields


La Crosse (WXOW) -- To most people the Big Bang Theory is either an explanation for the origin of the universe or the name of a hit television show, but is is also an affinity for science.

On Friday, students considering careers in science or other so called STEM fields had the chance to experiment with real life scenarios used by professionals. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Associate Professor Tammy Clark says if you're in this room you're probably a science geek.

"I am. I think I got it from my dad but yeah I've always loved science.  I didn't even know I was that weird I hung out with other people who loved science too so I didn't know how weird I was until I got old," said Clark.

Clark says being weird pays off.

"If you think about what scientists do and what mathematicians do or anyone that participates in STEM fields we solve problems," said Clark.

Big Bang Friday gives students experience in the lab through inquisitive and fun tasks.

One of the challenges at Big Bang Friday is to make a Rube Goldberg machine, an invention with complicated steps to do the most simple task. Students were asked to create something that dispenses candy with items like zip ties, marbles and even dominoes.

Abby Jacobs says it was certainly a challenge.

"In the beginning we had no idea where to start but then we started getting ideas and we worked backwards so it was nice to be able to do that," said Jacobs.

Assistant Professor Emily Shiavone is in a male dominated field but says young women need to know they have options when it comes to having a career.

"I like engineering personally because it mixes a lot of my interests in a way that I didn't think was possible when I was younger," said Shiavone.

That way of thinking is trickling down to students. Molly Wiese plans to be a civil engineer now.

"I find that like building bridges and buildings interesting in the way that you can build such a big structure and build it and have it be able to stand and work properly," said Wiese.

Clark says when we open up the fields of math and science to women we not only empower them we empower the community.

Students were able to select the lab they wanted to participate in and those choices included using math to break codes, synthesizing and testing a glow stick compound and even solving.

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