‘Perpetuating the STEM narrative in the Pacific’

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The University of Guam will be hosting its first CNAS STEM Conference with this year’s theme “Perpetuating the STEM Narrative in the Pacific.”

Inspired by their experiences at the Society for the Advancement for Chicanos and Native Americans in Science conference, the organizers of the CNAS STEM Conference — co-chairpersons Julianne Ballon, William Sablan, and board member Serena Barasi — wanted to bring the same opportunity to Guam residents.

“Most science conferences are off-island and at these conferences, students are able to present poster presentations and research projects to a large range of peers from the science field and they’re able to also look for more job opportunities or meet new people so they get to network and develop professional skills. We wanted that here because when people try to go off-island, it costs a lot of money,” Barasi said.

Barasi, Ballon, and Sablan hope that the conference will inspire more students to pursue a career in STEM and bring more diversity into the field.

“Especially as Pacific Islanders, our voices are important in this field so we’re hoping to include everyone,” Ballon said.

William Sablan, co-chairperson, added: “I definitely think that this will be a great opportunity for lots of students here on the island. For them to be exposed to the STEM fields and see other people who look just like them who are succeeding in science and doing excellent things in their work … they will know that they can also have the capacity and potential to be scientists themselves.”

The conference is open to all high school, college, and graduate students as well as individuals interested in learning about STEM on a professional platform.

The event will run on Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17, from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM CHST.

It’s $15 to $25 to register and free merchandise such as tote bags, stickers, and button pins will be given to the first 200 registrants.

High school students can attend the conference for free.

Merchandise and giveaways will be available for local pick-ups only.

Contact the UOG STEM Conference at uogstemconference@triton.uog.edu for more information.

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