2023 Miss America, Nuclear Engineer, Speaks To Girls At Tulsa's Discovery Lab

We first met her back in 2023 as Miss America and now Grace Stanke is traveling around the country with a different title, hoping to encourage girls to explore the STEM world.

Saturday, February 24th 2024, 10:30 pm

By: News On 6, Jayden Brannon


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We first met her back in 2023 as Miss America and now Grace Stanke is traveling around the country with a different title, hoping to encourage girls to explore the STEM world.

While most people may recognize her with a pageant gown and a sparkly crown, Grace Stanke wants girls around the country and here in Tulsa to know her as a woman in nuclear engineering.

"In the nuclear industry, only about 14 percent of technical roles are occupied by women," said nuclear engineer Grace Stanke.

Stanke shared her experience as a female nuclear engineer with several girls at the Discovery Lab.

"As a woman in engineering, I always loved having woman role models to look up to growing up, and it's been so incredible to kind of be on that other end of it now and helping talk to people about how awesome engineering is, how awesome math and science is and how exciting it is," she said.

One of the girls she hopes to inspire is Emma Fogel.

"The design apparently, it’s not going to turn out completely like the design because I figured out because that some things weren't going to work like that," said aspiring engineer Emma Fogel.

Emma and her dad spent the day at the Discovery Lab learning how to turn things like toilet paper rolls and plastic spoons into something new.

"We are making trash robots, trash robots," they said.

Her dad Anthony enjoys helping his daughter discover new passions.

"Anything to spark new interests, anything that we see that she seems to take right off on we like to promote that," her father said.

It's girls like Emma that Stanke hopes will help grow the engineering industry, especially for women.

"I always say the women before me, they removed boulders, I'm only removing rocks. Hopefully, my daughters only have to remove pebbles, and I'm so excited to watch these young women grow up and only have to remove pebbles," Stanke said.

Even though Grace Stanke is on her way to her next stop to teach more girls about the STEM world, the discovery lab is hosting more engineering workshops for girls on Sunday.

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