More than 100 girls from Harshman Middle School skipped their traditional classroom on Thursday, Aug. 22, to spend the day learning and exploring all things Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) during Ignite Your Superpower on the campus of IUPUI.

This is the third year for the event, presented by Indy Women in Tech through a partnership with Conner Prairie and Women & Hi Tech — an organization working to change how women are represented in STEM fields.

The invitation-only event is designed specifically for middle school girls to help them discover more about STEM through fun and interactive, hands-on learning. Everything is taught and presented by women who are working in STEM careers and represent a variety of companies.

Out of the more than 600 students from five middle schools in attendance, Harshman was the only IPS school represented, according Carrie Murphy, the school’s parent involvement educator. It’s an experience the students and teachers look forward to attending each year.

Harshman, which offers STEM as one of its choice programs, took around 150 girls.

“About 85 percent of our students that come to Harshman are enrolled in STEM class. All of our seventh graders that are in the STEM program take an introduction to engineering class through the Project Lead The Way curriculum,” said Murphy.

Ignite Your Superpower is beneficial for students in a variety of ways.

“It’s expo style, so students walk around and do a bunch of hands-on STEM activities. It’s just a really awesome experience,” said Murphy.

That it’s put on, presented by and for women is an added benefit.

“Just having all of these women in our community that are having an impact on the community and have amazing jobs that they’re proud of and want to share with future generations to show what’s possible through education … that’s powerful for our girls to see,” said Murphy.