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Girls in STEAM event- 2/27/22

By: Siri Doddapaneni and Victoria King

On February 27th, JuSTEMagine partnered with She Leads STEM and SPARKPositivity to bring a virtual Girls in STEAM event to 21 young scientists. JuSTEMagine president Claire Cenovic and She Leads STEM founder and president Ellie Kim worked with SPARKPositivity founder and president Teri Rheinheimer as well as 15 volunteers to encourage young girls to explore the field of STEM and learn important life skills and lessons.

Rheinheimer was the guest speaker at the event, where she focused on diversity, equality, and inclusivity. Teri shared a lesson about standing up for yourself, explaining to the young girls that it is okay to speak up by listening to a poem by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman that told about racial inclusivity. Maddie Rheinheimer, Teri’s daughter, also joined the event and shared her self-written book: Undefined. Undefined tells of young children who have the same interests but are able to discover how they are unique and different from each other. Teri added on with a DIY science experiment involving the dissolving of colorful Skittles candy, to teach that we need to celebrate our difference and stand out from the crowd.

Teri also shared a short video compilation of young, elementary students who work with SPARKPositivity and explained how to be a good friend. The video’s extension was teaching the girls how to lift themselves up when they are feeling down by learning how to smile with their faces. The steps they took to smile properly were to first make the biggest smile you can and close your eyes to release endorphins, then look up for 20 seconds and you will feel better when you are sad.

After the conclusion of the guest speakers, the girls and volunteers separated into breakout rooms where they worked on three activities. The first activity was artistic and encouraging: drawing a scientist. The point of this first activity was to counteract the stereotype of most people drawing male scientists, and prove that women are just as capable. The second activity was to write a future letter to yourself, addressing what you want to accomplish when you get older and how you want others to view you, in which this quote came in handy “Make people deal with you but make dealing with you a kind and positive experience.” The final activity was writing daily affirmations, the positive qualities of yourself on sticky notes, to remind yourself on a bad day that you are enough no matter what.

The event concluded with the girls sharing their responses to the activities, and many expressed that they enjoyed participating in the discussion and that they had learned a lot. The next virtual Girls in STEAM event is on April 23rd from 11am-12:30pm. Volunteers will receive training for the session, which features guest speaker Andrea Chakma and spotlights the relation between STEAM and writing.

To participate or volunteer in future virtual Girls in STEAM events (including the one on April 23rd), contact

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