With new careers popping up every day (hello, Instagram influencer), the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” is more complicated—and more exciting—than ever. To spark girls’ interest in STEAM, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is holding its fourth annual Girls & Science event on March 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The event is an opportunity for girls—and boys—to learn about a variety of science, technology, engineering, art, and math careers as well as the women behind them. Twenty-five mentors, representing 25 different careers in STEAM, will each have a booth of activities to give kids a deeper look into the roles of their profession. Girls have the opportunity to see “a day in the life” of a career in STEAM and find out more about the background, education, and paths of the mentors.
One of this year’s mentors, Natalie Toth, is a fossil preparator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. “Being a woman in a department of all men, I was eager to get involved to promote girls in science careers,” says Toth. “It’s important for girls to know they can achieve anything boys can.”
In Toth’s booth, she will demonstrate the process of determining whether an object is a true fossil, something she calls “fossil or not a fossil.” She is looking forward to getting girls excited about paleontology; a field that she mentions has been predominantly men. “I feel lucky that dinosaurs are a great gateway into science,” says Toth. “Both girls and boys get excited about the science behind dinosaurs.”
Each year, 7,000 to 11,000 kids attend the Girls & Science event. Girls and boys are both welcome, and most activities are targeted for ages eight to 13. The event is included with museum admission.