McPherson Magnet Femineers™ attend the Femineers™ Summit at Cal Poly Pomona

Orange, CA – May 30, 2018 – Orange Unified is proud to announce that McPherson Magnet School sent the first OUSD Femineers™ team to the Femineers™ Summit at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) last week.

Students were able to present their first-year Creative Robotics STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) projects and had the opportunity to hear from women in the STEM field about their experiences. Each professional shared inspiring stories and discussed measures to increase women working in STEM fields. Speakers included Tara Welborne, Mission Assurance Manager, Northrop Grumman; Luz Virgen, System Engineer Manager, Boeing; Leanne Swanson, Principal Manager, Southern California Edison; and Nicole Cadreau, Distribution Engineer, Southern California Edison.

McPherson is one of 40 schools in Southern California hosting the three-year Femineer™ Program. Led by McPherson Magnet teachers Teresa Andrade and Sara Hoffmann, the program provides hands-on activities that allow students to think creatively and to work collaboratively. This year’s cohort met weekly after school and focused on the creative robotics curriculum: a 30-hour project in which students learned about basic electronics, wiring, sensors and motors, as well as Hummingbird Duo microcontrollers and programming using the language Scratch. Next year’s project will involve wearable technology: basic circuitry and C programming, the use of conductive thread, bright neopixels, and wearable microcontrollers. The curriculum for Year 3 is still under development.

The Femineers™ Program was created and funded by Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Engineering in 2013 to inspire females to pursue STEM in their education and career. The program provides K-12 students with project-based learning, female engineering student mentors, and opportunities to visit Cal Poly Pomona, while building a sustainable program and community for current and future STEM leaders. The program engages participants through highly creative, hands-on activities. By engaging with real-world applications, Femineers™ acquire the technical knowledge and practical skills necessary to become confident and strong in their future careers.

McPherson is a K-8 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Magnet School in the Orange Unified School District. Additional information about McPherson’s Femineers™ is available online at


The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 28,000 K-12 grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.