INDIANAPOLIS - More than 500 middle school girls and over 50 exhibitors got together today for an event Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Angela Smith Jones says can be "an igniter" for the next generation of STEM workers. The second annual "Ignite Your Superpower" STEM Day, which took place on the IUPUI campus, allowed students to take part in experiments ranging from chemical crystallization to building and coding droids. Former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, co-founder of Indy Women in Tech, says getting girls engaged in STEM is crucial because "the workforce of the future really demands it."

Other event organizers include Women & Hi Tech and Conner Prairie. Today marked the second year for the event.

This year's event boasted 55 exhibits. They included Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) featuring hands-on experiments with chemical crystallization, the Indiana State Police Laboratory demonstrating evidence and fingerprinting technology, 1st Maker Space LLC helping students create an LED-illuminated bookbag, Creators Camp USA working with students to build and code a droid and STEM Education Works allowing students to program a robotic arm.

Smith Jones says Indiana, like many states, is "really lacking in a lot of diversity" in the technology, science and engineering spaces. Events like "Ignite Your Superpower," she says," allow young girls to get excited about industries that were "never part of their plan."