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Greendale Chapter's Virtual Event: Sisters in STEM

By Clare Schinzel and Katie Picard

On November 6th, girls ranging from elementary to middle school gathered together on Zoom. But instead of attending another bland school lecture, these diligent students assembled for the Greendale Chapter's Virtual Event: Sisters in STEM. This hour-long event was one of four meetings a year where girls are given the opportunity to explore activities in STEM––science, technology, engineering, and math.

During the event, the young students focused on three main concepts: STEM, confidence, and positivity. To start, the girls were introduced to accomplished women in the STEM field: STEM professions included could range from computer scientists to agricultural careers. These speakers focused on their inspirations, schooling, and how they make a positive impact on the world through their work. All of this was meant to encourage the women-to-be to break through stereotypes that men are “better” at science and math. These guest speakers were examples for the children to prove hard work and resilience can achieve any career.

Next, to explore the enjoyment that competence in STEM careers can create, the students worked from their homes to create popsicle stick catapults. Additionally, the group constructed Lego Space Man Landers. These were Lego figures held together with a parachute. The figure and the catapult created a fun combination for the ladies to explore in their free time.

The purpose of these enjoyment-filled activities was to provide the ladies an entertaining way through the engineering design process. It provided a simple window into a STEM career’s essential aspects: problem-solving, teamwork, and creativity.

After the hour was over and the girls had successfully created their Lego spaceman and catapult, they gathered together to recap the activities and the main speakers’ points.

According to the United States census bureau, “In 1970, women made up 38% of all U.S. workers and 8% of STEM workers. By 2019, the STEM proportion had increased to 27% and women made up 48% of all workers.” The dramatic increase in these numbers can be partially attributed to events like these: women working together to break through stereotypes to leave a positive mark in the world.

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