FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – 84% of engineers in this country are male, showing that there is still much work to be done to increase the number of women in the profession.

Events like STEM for Girls are slowing to change those statistics. The satisfaction that comes from trying and mastering something new are the experiences educators want for students attending the STEM for Girls conference.

Over 300 girls from Fresno County schools spent a Saturday at Fresno Pacific University participating in hands-on science activities. In this case, rocket science. In fact, students of this generation could go to Mars.

For the first time, young girls were introduced to welding. Female students from CETEC High School were excited to teach what they know. Using VR helmets, students were able to practice welding in virtual reality. The young women teaching them have already mastered the skill and they want young girls to know there is a place for them in male-dominated careers.

“We are an example for them in a way,” said CTEC High School student Samantha Lazalde. “We are doing our best to be, to show them that this is possible that they can do this and we are the example of having done this before, so I hope that we can be sort of an inspiration for them.”