RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Nearly 800 7th grade girls spent the day at the South Dakota School of Mines Campus learning about careers in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.

From mining careers to jobs in physics, these 7th graders are getting the chance to see what different futures in STEM look like.

“I am pretty interested in different coding and just how technology works,” Josie Tish, 7th grader, said.

“I liked to learn about all the women and the wonderful people that have done so much for the technology that we are learning about today,” Jordyn Palmer, 7th grader, said.

Mattisyn Newman says getting out of the classroom and learning about these careers through others has been fun but also beneficial.

“I get to talk to people that know what they are instead of reading from a textbook and I feel that is it fun to experience what people are experiencing and know what they are doing instead of watching a video or reading from a textbook,” Mattisyn Newman, 7th grader, said.

The Women in Science Conference is an annual event put on by the Youth and Sciences in Rapid organization. It’s been going on for over 10 years.

Amy Hasbold says there is a lack of women representation in STEM careers. Which is why teaching these students about the industry at a young age is vital.

“I was inspired to pursue a career in science after meeting a female engineer when I was in elementary school, and so many of our volunteers here today had similar experiences and so we know that this day is impactful and is making a difference and it is so exciting to see girls who have been here now here volunteering,” Amy Hasbold, President of Youth and Science Rapid City, said.

The Women in Science Conference was hosted today from 9 AM to 2:30. The students attending were not just from Rapid City, but across the region, as well as home schooled students.