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Women looking to change male dominated STEM field

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) has been gaining a lot of attention in recent years but the field is male dominated. Stacie Deaver just started a new bio technology program at Virgina Western Community College.

She says about 25-percent of STEM graduates are female and there is a big drop in student interest. Deaver says the data shows as girls go from middle school to high school they lose interest.

"For me STEM is important because it's the non STEM students that I'm trying to reach. I want them to realize how this applies to their life. That if they can think about things critically and really just be inquisitive that their life would be so much more enjoyable," said Deaver. "We need women to know that they are strong and that they can do this."

There is an event Friday to change the perception. High school students will learn about STEM at Virginia Western this morning and at 1:30 a nationally known expert Dr. Lisa Friedersdorf will share her success story.  She's trained as an engineer and described as a strong woman in the STEM field.

Dr. Friedersdorf has been involve in nanotechnology for nearly twenty years, with a particular interest in advancing technology commercialization through university-industry-government collaboration. Prior to working with the NNCO, she was the Managing Director of the Institute for Nanoscale and Quantum Scientific and Technological Advanced Research (nanoSTAR) at the University of Virginia.

The lecture is being presented as part of Virginia Western's Women in STEM initiative. Dr. Friedersdorf will tell the story of how she built her career, helping to inspire and motivate women of all ages to pursue STEM fields.

WHAT:         The Future of Nanotechnology and STEM Education, a free public lecture

WHO:          

Dr. Lisa Friedersdorf, Deputy Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office

WHEN:         1:30-2:30 p.m., Friday, October 9, 2015

WHERE:        Whitman Theater, Virginia Western Community College (map and parking)