interior static banner

King University’s Women in STEM Club Hosts STEM Day for Girls Feb. 24

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 2, 2018 – King University’s Women in STEM Club hosted the first STEM Day for Girls on Saturday, Feb. 24. A fast-growing organization at King, the Women in STEM club seeks to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as possible career paths among women of all ages.

Sheryl Sandberg, founder of the Lean In Foundation and chief operating officer for Facebook is quoted as saying, “The time is long overdue to encourage more women to dream the possible dream.” This simple idea is at the heart of the STEM Day for Girls. The day of activities for local middle school girls grades 5-8 included exciting biology, chemistry, and math activities. The free event included lunch and a surprise take-home gift for each girl.

Sunny Kennedy is a senior at King majoring in Biology and a native of Abingdon, Virginia. She said, “We held the STEM Day for middle school girls as a way of encouraging young women to chase after their dreams in the [STEM] fields. The day was intended to show them the interesting and fun sides of STEM and prove to them that girls can do it too. I was amazed at how many of [the girls] already had plans to go into engineering, robotics, and computer technology. The [STEM] fields definitely have a bright future with these girls involved.”

Participants hailing all the way from Tazwell, Virginia, to Jonesborough, Tennessee, experienced everything from decoding secret messages through the use of cryptology to experimenting with safe chemical reactions, along with learning about genetic coding. Each student rotated through each of the three sessions.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better event,” said Wendy Traynor, assistant professor of Mathematics and faculty advisor for the Women in STEM Club at King. “We initially thought we might get 10, maybe 20 girls to attend the event. Instead, we got 70! We had to scramble a bit to get more resources for the event; we had a lot of support from all areas on campus. It was important for each girl to have some to take with them. One of the favorites of the day was a cipher decoder wheel made by Martha Liendo, instructor of Mathematics, and King senior Tequania Lake, a Mathematics and Physics major.

“We are looking forwards to hosting the STEM Day for Girls again in the future,” said Traynor.

For additional information on King’s Women in STEM Club, contact Wendy Traynor at

Read the article by Bristol Herald Courier’s Robert Sorrell at


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.