Girls encouraged to pursue STEM careers in Davidson County

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- From 3D mapping of the moon to planning a mission to Mars, Dr. Aprille Ericsson said her job is pretty fun.

"The stuff I do is really fun," Ericsson said. "It's innovative and impactful to our environment, the world and understanding the universe."

Making discoveries on earth and beyond does sound like fun. That's part of the message Ericsson is presenting at Davidson County Community College. The conference room is mostly filled with students from Davidson Early College High School. Ericsson's job excites Dominique Dulin.

"The presentation was amazing," Dulin said. "The energy she gave towards the audience, we were engaged in the presentation."

Ericsson's presentation was loaded with music and graphics of space and earth exploration. Ericsson's love for science began at an early age.

"I was fortunate," Ericsson said. "My grandfathers were engineers and the women in the family were educators."

The other part of the interactive discussion involved the young ladies. Ericsson used pictures of female aviators, engineers and scientist to encourage the young ladies in the crowd to stick with with science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM) classes and find careers in the field.

"She inspired me and taught me a bunch of stuff about science and math," high school student Adriana Tuttle said. "For example, optometry came from NASA. I had no idea and I've been looking at that career."

After listening to Ericsson, Dulin said she is ready to get to work and earn the grades she needs in order to become a successful dentist.

"It shows that working hard now in the long run makes a positive change. You can do big things with it," she said.