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JuSTEMagine Board Member Spotlight

By Angel Bhandari

The JuSTEMagine Board Member spotlight is on Serena Zezulak! She will be a senior in the fall of 2022 at Brownell Talbot and is JuSTEMagine's Girls in STEM and Event Coordinator. She is extremely passionate about inclusivity within the STEM field and making STEM education accessible to all.

Why did you want to help with Girls in STEAM?

“Until 8th grade, I had only attended Public Title I schools where many of the students were from lower income families and did not have many opportunities. I was very thankful to have hard-working teachers that cared about us and tried to give us as many opportunities as they could. However, I understand that this is not always possible. Many schools are not able to provide these opportunities and programs due to lack of funding, support, or other factors. Because of this, quality STEM education within elementary schools can be difficult to find despite the growing need for STEM education. According to Dr. Kenneth Wesson, an educational consultant in California, '92% of boys and 97% of girls lose interest in STEAM if not engaged by the 5th grade.' This makes early education in STEM crucial for our world. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to and gain an interest in STEM at a young age, but not all students have this opportunity. I joined JuSTEMagine because I wanted to help students gain an interest in STEM and/or explore that interest further."

What are your responsibilities as an Event Coordinator?

“As the Event Coordinator, I plan and lead the events that JuSTEMagine holds. Typically, planning an event takes quite a bit of time. I start out by creating a target audience. Then I move onto a theme, activities, and the date of the event. Usually the last part of the planning is advertising the event to as many people and organizations as possible to make sure the event is known about. After all the planning is finished, we get to hold the event!”

What are your responsibilities with Girls in STEAM?

“With Girls In STEAM, my goal is to encourage girls to explore STEAM! Women are largely underrepresented in STEM occupations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women represented 27% of STEM workers in 2019, up from 8% in 1970. I would love to be able to help and watch the number of women STEM workers continue to climb. To do this, I plan and attend events dedicated to promoting STEM education for females.”

Why is having inclusivity within the STEM field important to you?

“Inclusively in STEM is a very important topic that has been gaining more and more attention as years have gone on. 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." Although the amount of women in STEM occupations is increasing, women still remain widely underrepresented in the field. There is a lot that can still be done to create equality within STEM and I hope that JuSTEMagine will be able to help with this.”

What is your favorite event that you have helped coordinate and why?

“My favorite event that I helped coordinate was our “Out of this World” STEM Night. I enjoyed this event because it was the first STEM Night we had ever done. Up until that point, I was only helping coordinate Girls In STEAM events, but this event was open to everyone! I also really loved the theme and thought that the activities were super creative and fun!”

What do you hope JuSTEMagine can accomplish in the future?

“I hope that JuSTEMagine continues to grow as an organization. I would love to see more Chapters beginning to make changes across the globe. Hopefully, one day JuSTEMagine will be easily accessible to all! I cannot wait to continue making my impact with this organization!”

Congratulations Serena for being our Board Member spotlight and thank you so much for your help with JuSTEMagine!!

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