Girls Inc. of Lynn introduces STEM to Young Girls
It is no secret that a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) affords amazing opportunities for girls in an increasingly tech-focused marketplace. Girls Inc.of Lynn provides year-round after-school programming, weekend activities, and experiences that expand upon and support girls’ STEM learning and engagement. Through hands-on activities, girls explore, ask questions, persist, and solve problems. By interacting with women and men pursuing STEM careers, girls come to view these careers as exciting and realistic options for themselves and girls get the chance to see how STEM makes the world a better place.
Girls Inc. of Lynn recently developed programming for girls ages seven and up to ignite their passion to learn about STEM. “I had no idea that teaching STEM could be so much fun!” says Tanya Crowell, Program Specialist. On Thursdays, Tanya integrates STEM into the Literacy program by reading stories that show multicultural women and their influence in STEM. The girls adored learning about the lives of the women featured in the book Hidden Figures as well as about Raye Jean Jordan Montague, an internationally registered professional engineer (RPE) with the U.S. Navy who is credited with the first computer-generated rough draft of a U.S. naval ship. “I enjoy talking with the girls about careers and STEM and showing them role models so they can understand that the world of STEM is wide open for girls,” says Tanya.
The girls also get involved with experiments like Flinker, when they look at an object and guess whether it will float or sink. “We try to integrate STEM practices into their learning. For instance, when we cook, we talk about how math is used to measure. These girls just love it every week,” says Tanya. Recently Tanya worked with the girls to understand how owls’ digestion system works and enjoy a fun predicting game with M & Ms.
“The nine and ten-year-old girls talk a lot about careers in STEM as well as enjoy games that teach them about STEM is fun and creative ways,” says Tanya. She overheard one of the girls saying,” This is my favorite group. I am so excited.”
“I just love that girls are learning about STEM at such a young age. Educating and encouraging girls to pursue STEM classes and activities is the first step to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce,” says Deb Ansourlian, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Lynn.