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PHOTOS: Lt. Gov. Kleefisch visits Hudson Middle School

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch talked to group of young middle school girls about STEM careers. (photos by Meg Heaton)1 / 5
Hudson engineer Angela Popenhagen was one of group of women working in STEM fields that worked with teams of middle school girls in the Trash to Treasures challenge during Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch's visit to the school last week.2 / 5
Girls at Hudson Middle School are being exposed to the same career opportunities as boys like this chance to wield a welding torch.3 / 5
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Wisconsin Lt. Governor Kleefisch was at Hudson Middle School last week to meet with 100 girls from grades 6-8 who have an interest in STEM careers.

HMS was selected to hold the event to mark October as manufacturing month.

According to Melisa Hansen, the district’s School to Career coordinator, the purpose of the event is to connect and inspire young girls through engaging conversations and activities with professional women in STEM careers. Participating students who were chosen to participate in the event based on essays they wrote about their interest in STEM careers had an opportunity to ask questions of a panel and participate in an activity that turned a bag of recyclables into something useful. They also had time to talk one-one with professional women representing an array of careers and positions within STEM fields.

In a challenge called “Trash to Treasures,” students took a bag of recyclable items and created something useful from them. The teams then presented their treasures to the Kleefisch.

Kleefisch told the girls that from her research with women working in manufacturing in the state, that women need to work harder and be better than men to succeed. She encouraged the students to do just that in order to gain leadership positions where they might be able to change that mindset. She also encouraged her audience to always work to “return the investment” their parents, teachers and others have made in them.

The next Women in STEM event will take place at the middle school later this school year.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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