Events & Programs
Past Events & Programs
More past events will be listed shortly.
Petit Family Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award
This award recognizes a woman working in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) who is a leader in her field, and who makes a significant effort to support other women and encourage girls' interests in STEM. The honoree is selected by the Connecticut Science Center's Women in Science steering committee. See Jonna Gerken accept her award at our Annual STEM Awards Breakfast, presented by Stanley Black & Decker, on Tuesday, April 26.
About Ms. Gerken
Jonna Gerken is the 2016 Petit Family Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award honoree. Gerken is the Project Manager for Operations Development at Pratt & Whitney, where she coordinates the startup of new international manufacturing facilities for the production ramp-up of PurePowerTM product families. An employee of Pratt & Whitney since 2000, Gerken has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility within both the operations and engineering divisions. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial & Management Engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree in Technology Development, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is a lifetime member of the Society of Women Engineers and currently serves as their Director of Membership Initiatives.
- 2015 – Dr. Linda Barry, M.D., FACS, Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Connecticut Medical School
- 2014 – Dr. Kristine Larsen, Professor of Astronomy, Central Connecticut State University
- 2013 – Kimberly McLean, Principal Engineer, General Dynamics Electric Boat
Whether you're a woman or girl in the sciences, or are interested in helping more girls and women enter STEM fields, the links below will help you on your way.
- Girls RISEnet: Girls RISEnet, a partnership between the Miami Science Museum, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and SECME, Inc., is strengthening the professional capacity of informal science educators to engage and motivate minority girls in grades 6-12 to explore and pursue science and engineering careers.
- Ebony Horsewomen: The mission of the Ebony Horsewomen is to empower youth toward successful lives through the use of horses. Our goal is to provide Comprehensive Equine Education with profound benefits of Equine and Animal Assisted Growth and Learning, Equine Assisted Therapy, Horsemanship Training, and academic programming to build leaders, deter destructive behavior, and increase academic achievement.
- Girl Scouts of Connecticut: Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
- ManyMentors: Through the power of peer mentoring, ManyMentors will inspire, encourage, and support underrepresented middle and high school students’ interest in, pursuit, and attainment of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees at universities across the country.
- The National Girls Collaborative Project: The National Girls Collaborative Project™ (NGCP) brings together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in STEM.
- American Association of University Women (AAUW): The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. Since our founding in 1881, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day—educational, social, economic, and political.
- National Engineers Week Foundation: Engineers Week celebrates the positive contributions engineers make to society and is a catalyst for outreach across the country to kids and adults alike. Engineers Week is part of many corporate and government cultures and is celebrated on every U.S. engineering college campus.
- SciGirls on PBS: SciGirls is a new show for kids ages 8–12 that showcases bright, curious, real tween girls who put science and engineering to work in their everyday lives. Each half-hour episode follows a different group of middle school girls, whose eagerness to find answers to their questions will inspire your children to explore the world around them and discover that science and technology are everywhere!
- EngineerGirl: The EngineerGirl website is designed to bring national attention to the exciting opportunities that engineering represents for girls and women.
- uheart.wordpress.com/: Updates on health-related research by Dr. Beth Taylor, Director for the Center for Health, Care and Well-Being at the University of Hartford and Director of Exercise Physiology Research at Hartford Hospital.
- Generating Girls' Opportunities (G2O): G2O is an initiative of The Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) designed to engage girls, parents, and teachers in expanding girls' educational opportunities.
The Connecticut Science Center’s Women in Science initiative encourages girls and young women to pursue studies and career paths in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and celebrates the achievements of women in the sciences.
The initiative seeks to bridge the gender gap in STEM by developing original programming to engage girls in science and to build the community of women in the sciences.
Special Thanks to Supporters of Women in Science at the Connecticut Science Center
Additional support from:
Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation
- Marie O’Brien
Board Director, Bristol Hospital and Health Care Group
Committee Vice Chair
- Dr. Sandra Inga
STEM Director, Hartford Public Schools
- Denise Barats
- Founder, A Teen Edge
- Laura Dambier
- Development Consultant, Avon
- Dr. Marilyn Katz
- Physician, Hartford
- Danielle Metcalf
- Site Operations Manager, TicketNetwork
- Dr. William A. Petit, Jr.
- President, Petit Family Foundation
- Kay Rahardjo
- Course Developer, Columbia University
- Ellyn Savard
- Program Initiatives Manager, Girl Scouts of Connecticut
- Jessica Tatarczuk
- Senior Engineer, Westinghouse Electric Company
- Dr. Beth Taylor
- Director of Exercise Physiology Research, Hartford Hospital