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Inspiring Students to Pursue STEM

3rd Annual Imagine Summit: Introducing Students to Future Opportunities in STEM 

The Imagine Summit was born from the realization that rural school districts around the Chippewa Valley have limited resources to provide STEM-related opportunities to students. With STEM being a historically non-diverse discipline, the Women at WIN committee wanted to provide a place where girls could feel inspired and motivated to pursue STEM-related career paths. 

What started with a group of twenty-six 7-10th grade students from five school districts has grown to a group of over 100 students from ten school districts in and around the Chippewa Valley. When last year’s event grew to 51 students, WIN HQ reached max capacity. But the Imagine Summit planning committee at WIN wanted to continue reaching more girls and communities.  

We are grateful to Chippewa Valley Technical College for partnering with us to co-host this year’s event and allow us to utilize their Business Education Center. After months of planning and coordinating with the team at CVTC, the third Imagine Summit was another great success!  

The morning began with a welcome from our CEO, Scott Hoffmann, before moving straight into the first of two breakout sessions. Over lunch, CVTC presented on career pathways before we transitioned students to the afternoon breakouts. From building mini trebuchets to programming a game and learning about network latency, this year’s summit included a total of 15 breakout sessions! 

WIN was once again very involved in hosting breakout sessions. A few individuals from our network management team hosted “The Latency is Right” gameshow. Members of our engineering team led a session on fiber networks. Our product manager helped students understand how tech products are brought to life through product management, while our internal IT team walked students through programming their own game.  

CVTC hosted a few breakout sessions including Becoming More Cyber Smart and Build Your Own Mini-Trebuchet. CVTC also moderated a Challenges of Women in STEM panel that included panelists from ITW Deltar, Reality Works and WIN. Pablo-Girls Who Code partnered with us to teach students how to program a robotic ball that moves around the room.     

We were blown away by the positive feedback we received from attendees. One student said they are likely to pursue future STEM opportunities, and the event really changed their mind on what they plan to do after High School. Another student who has attended the Imagine Summit for two years now, said “I’m not sure what I want to do, so coming here is opening me up to different possible career pathways that I can go into and what I can do when I’m older.” 

Thank you to all our partners and the 19+ WIN volunteers who made this year’s Imagine Summit possible. We couldn’t have done it without you!  

Watch a video from our 2nd annual event: