Newswise — Eighth grade girls learned about the exciting possibilities in science and engineering at the annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.

“We were very excited to host this event and inspire young girls to become the next generation of scientists and engineers, “ said Lydia Finney, a physicist at Argonne and the Women in Science and Technology program initiator.

The day-long event was an entertaining and interactive way to introduce girls to science and engineering pursuits. Over one hundred young girls from the Chicagoland area heard from leaders at Argonne, met with a mentor, toured the laboratory’s one-of-a-kind research facilities, joined seminars led by female Argonne employees and watched demonstrations of 11 experiments by Argonne scientists and engineers.

“The girls enjoyed our hands-on experiments from different areas across the laboratory – from predicting the weather to demonstrating cryogenics used at the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System, or ATLAS,” said Emily Zvolanek, a GIS analyst in Argonne’s Environmental Science Division and six-time coordinator of the annual event.

The activities culminated in a team car-design challenge that allowed the girls to test their problem-solving skills as they prepared to race model vehicles.

The event is one of two annual day-long sessions geared toward inspiring young women to pursue science and technology and is one of dozens of educational programs hosted by Argonne each year.

Sponsorship for the event is provided by the Argonne Education Outreach Council along with Argonne's Division of Educational Programs and Women in Science and Technology program.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.