In 2018, with the support of many sponsors and several grants, including from KIETS, the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) successfully hosted its first Maria Mitchell Women of Science Symposium (MMWSS/Symposium) – a sold out event that had a waitlist. Professors from California to North Carolina, researchers and scientists and administrative professionals from all walks of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) were in attendance. And teachers of high school and middle school students were also among the attendees. The audience was diverse, enthusiastic and ready to share, learn, and to make a difference.
The MMA is now planning its MMWSS for September 22-24, 2022 at the Babson Executive Conference Center in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The goal of the MMWSS is to promote and support women of all ages in STEM. Maria Mitchell, America’s first woman astronomer, believed in learning by doing. Her lifelong work was not just in astronomy and mathematics but in fighting for the place of women in science and women’s education. To that end, one of the main goals of the MMWSS is to be an experience in which all participants are helping to create real-world solutions, including devising support systems all along the education and career path for women and girls in STEM.
On the introduction of KIETS, some of the featured speakers at the MMWSS will include Dr. Nancy Gray, Director of the Gordon Conferences, Dr. Simil Raghavan, Director of EngineerGirl, and Ms. Shauna Young, Kenan Fellow and Director of the Scratch Foundation. KIETS support would leverage resources from the Simons Foundation, Massachusetts Space Grant, Novartis, Mass Bio, DE Shaw and Company, Tupancy-Harris Foundation of 1986, Schwartz Hannum, Vassar College, The American Philosophical Society, and Siemens.