Conference Set to Inspire and Challenge Young Women

CSM STEM Event to Feature U.S. Navy Test Pilot as Keynote Speaker, April 1

The Women + STEM Conference = Infinite Possibilities is a career conference designed to expose women in their teens and older to wide-ranging opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

The free conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on April 1 at the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata Campus.

The idea behind the annual conference is to keep girls from limiting their education and career options. “It is very important to share with young women all of the opportunities available to them,” said College of Southern Maryland Professor Sandra Poinsett.

Lt. Rebecca Shaw flies the B-25 during Test Pilot School. Shaw will be the keynote speaker at the Women + STEM Conference = Infinite Possibilities Conference on April 1 at the College of Southern Maryland La Plata Campus.The conference presenters are professional women in various stages of their careers who work in a STEM profession. The event starts with a continental breakfast in the Center for Building and Industry (BI Building) and a keynote address by Lt. Rebecca Shaw, a test pilot for the U.S. Navy.

Shaw is an ideal spokesperson for exciting opportunities in the STEM field. She has the background to talk about the travel, challenge and personal achievement that is available in STEM careers.

A 2009 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in mechanical engineering, Shaw earned her Naval Aviator wings and served with the Golden Eagles of Patrol Squadron NINE (VP-9). While attached to VP-9, she was deployed to Italy, Greece and Spain and conducted detached operations in Iceland and Scotland.

Shaw was selected to attend U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, and she graduated from the Engineering Test Pilot School course in June 2016. Following graduation, she reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ZERO (VX-20) and now serves as an MQ-4C Triton Project officer and flies the P-8A Poseidon. Last fall she was accepted into Johns Hopkins University Professional Engineering program, where she is working on her master’s degree in space systems engineering.

She has flown a combination of 20 models of jet, prop and rotary wing aircraft and has won numerous awards while compiling more than 1,200 hours of flight time.

“She is an excellent role model for young women,” Poinsett said.

In addition to Shaw’s keynote, the Women + STEM = Infinite Possibilities conference will feature workshops, other presentations and discussions designed to inform young women on careers that rely heavily on science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The event is open to young women ages 13 and older as well as high school math teachers and parents.

Those who register before March 26 have a chance to win a gift card. For information and to register, visit For more, call 301-934-7808 or email

The conference is a free event sponsored by the CSM Foundation.