Women Rock Science Goes Virtual for 2021

The gala will raise money for STEAM programming and honor General Motors Chair and CEO Mary Barra, science teacher Tuyen Duddles, and cardiologist Celeste T. Williams
Mary Barra - Women Rock Science - Cranbrook Institute of Science
General Motors Co. Chair and CEO Mary Barra is among the women who will be honored at this year’s Women Rock Science event. // Photograph by John F. Martin for General Motors, courtesy of Cranbrook Institute of Science

In 2020, Cranbrook Institute of Science took its annual Women Rock Science gala virtual, and the event raised more than $250,000. The funding went toward the institute’s goal of bringing STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics — programming to kids in underserved communities throughout Michigan.

“Last year, more than any other year, taught us that science is more important than ever,” says Michael D. Stafford, director of Cranbrook Institute of Science, in a press release. “And it is critical that all students in Michigan have access to enhanced learning through STEAM curricula to gain knowledge about the power of science and the impact it has on their everyday lives.”

This year, Cranbrook Institute of Science is at it again. It’ll present the fourth annual Women Rock Science gala virtually at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7. The institution hopes that the women-led fundraising event will reach more people in this format. “With the safety of our guests and staff as the top priority, we made the decision to go virtual again this year so we can provide the biggest impact to students possible through our outreach initiatives,” Stafford says in a press release.

The gala will honor three women who are making a difference in STEAM education. Mary T. Barra, chair and CEO of General Motors Co., will receive the Outstanding Leader Award; Tuyen Duddles, a seventh and eighth grade science teacher at Warren Consolidated Schools’ Middle School Math Science Technology Center, will be given the Outstanding Educator Award; and Dr. Celeste T. Williams, the medical director of cardiac transplantation and the director of quality at the Heart and Vascular Institute at Henry Ford Health System, will receive the Rock Star Award.

The event, which will be emceed by news anchor and health reporter Lila Lazarus, will also highlight Cranbrook Institute of Science’s STEAM outreach programming. And each participant will be mailed a hands-on science activity.

General admission tickets start at $100 and can be purchase online through Oct. 1. Sponsorship packages are also available.

For more information, visit science.cranbrook.edu.  

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Emma Klug is a senior editor and digital content coordinator at Hour Detroit. In her role, Klug writes and edits stories on community, art, food, and lifestyle topics for hourdetroit.com, edits the Hour Daily newsletter, and is involved in planning and proofing the monthly print magazine. She also oversees the editorial web internship program for the magazine. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Klug has been with Hour Detroit since 2016. She has also contributed to Hour Media publications DBusiness magazine and Metro Detroit Weddings magazine. You can reach her at eklug@hour-media.com.