WINONA, Minn. -

Girls are getting their hands dirty, learning crafts typically dominated by men.

Twenty 8th and 9th graders from the Winona, Lewiston Altura, and Rushford Peterson school district spent today with real-world activities at Southeast Technical College.

And it was a girls only event, focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Examples of the lessons include changing a car's oil, building an electronic board game, and working with robotics. A number of the mentors today are south east tech alums, and women working in the field.

"It's less intimidating, plus it introduces them that science and engineering isn't that tough, it gives them a respect for what they're doing," said Marc Calis, Southeast Technical instructor.

Teachers and counselors hand-picked the students at today's workshop. The ones we talked to said they were learning a lot, and felt less intimidated to pursue a career in these fields.

"If you love it, go for it," said Megan Alford, 8th grader at Winona Middle School.

"And if you're interested in it, don't let anybody stop you," added Alyse Kamrowski, 8th grader.

"Girls can do anything guys can do, and in high heels," said Alford.

The college plans to do this program again every few months, and invite students from other schools in the area.