FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Kids were inspired as they got a taste of where pursuing a career in STEM can take them at Fresno State.

Renee Tindall is the curator of life support at the zoo in this video she gives a behind-the-scenes look at how staff provides wellness checks. Her job includes taking care of the water animals and exhibits.

“My job is an aquatics funnel so I live in the aquatic realm of water chemistry and all those kinds of silly things,” Tindall said.

Tindall shared how she got to this career with students at the Annual STEM for Girls Conference, telling them she struggled as a student in middle and high school, uninterested in science until college. 

“Not even knowing that this existed that there was even the opportunity where water, chemistry, animal care, and engineering kind of intersect, and when I found that I was like hey this is pretty cool,” Tindall said.

It is the kind of story that might capture the attention of a young girl and might get her to think about STEM in a different way.

“That exposure early at this beautiful Fresno State University we are hoping we will recruit students into the field and that will benefit our valley,” said STEM Director Jason Horsman with the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.

The office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools brought 500 5th to 12th graders from around the county to the campus of Fresno State to experience STEM hands-on.

Here students demonstrate how ink separates while in another room they are making rockets.

“The whole focus is to be totally interactive and involved and creating and designing so you just see STEM in a more practical way that’s used out in the field and hopefully, they want to grow up into that,” said Jennifer.

Fresno State’s physics outreach team had students lying on a bed of nails, all to demonstrate the difference between force and pressure.

“They make it fun for kids to learn about it and to maybe try to get you interested in science,” said Maylin Valencia, a student at Jefferson Elementary.

But the experiment that may have won over a few STEM recruits was showing the different states of matter like solids, liquid, and gas. It resulted in some really good ice cream. 

“Like I saw fog come out of the pot where the ice cream was and it made this ice cream so good,” Valencia said.