Pictured (L to R) are Linda Chastain, State Farm agent and 2019 Girl Powered event sponsor; Karlee Clevenger, attendee; and Andrea Miller, Art & Technology Teacher at the Warsaw Area Career Center. The skateboard was designed by Miller and decorated by attendees. Clevenger won the skateboard in a drawing. Photo Provided
Pictured (L to R) are Linda Chastain, State Farm agent and 2019 Girl Powered event sponsor; Karlee Clevenger, attendee; and Andrea Miller, Art & Technology Teacher at the Warsaw Area Career Center. The skateboard was designed by Miller and decorated by attendees. Clevenger won the skateboard in a drawing. Photo Provided
SYRACUSE – The Wawasee Iron Pride Robotics Team hosted its third annual Girl Powered event Saturday at Wawasee High School as a part of the global Girl Powered Initiative started by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation.

The event was titled “Indiana Gets Girl Powered III.” Eleven mentors volunteered their time, experience and expertise to empower the next generation of women to join science, technology, engineering and math fields.

The afternoon started off with an icebreaker activity, which had students and mentors build the tallest structure possible from a limited amount of index cards and tape that would support a beach ball. The winning structure measured 30 inches tall. Networking then began with discussion sessions in small groups where girls could visit the mentors and converse with them regarding their field of expertise.  

During a panel discussion the mentors told stories of finding their voices in industries in which they are largely underrepresented and how to persevere in order to achieve their goals.

Following the panel was a dinner social, complete with pizza, soup and salad, cupcakes made by Wawasee High School culinary arts teacher Dan Bauer and a chocolate fountain.

The list of mentors included Rebecca Whelan, professor of chemistry at Notre Dame; Rachel Haselby, computer science at Purdue University; Dessiree Hurst, geology/geosciences at Hanson Aggregates; Dr. Becca Love, bioinformatics at Notre Dame; Jamila McKenzie, biomedical engineering, biomechanics track at Case Western Reserve University; Regina Neugebauer, biomedical engineering at University of Akron, Ohio; Rebecca Chaney, BS in engineering and supply chain MBA and masters of science in engineering management at DePuy Synthes; Monica Choudhury, biomedical engineering at DePuy Synthes; Andrea Miller, art and technology teacher, master of fine arts at Warsaw Area Career Center; Kori Rivard, materials science and engineering, bioengineering at DePuy Synthes; Jamila McKenzie, biomedical engineering, biomechanics track at Case Western Reserve University; Regina Neugebauer, biomedical engineering at University of Akron, Ohio; and Rebecca Thomas, chemical engineer and plant manager at Land O’ Lakes.

Indiana Gets Girl Powered III was organized by Wawasee educators and robotics coaches Jed Wandland and Julie Hays. The event was sponsored by the Kosciusko County Community Foundation and Linda Chastain of State Farm Insurance.