“It is so important to connect girls with female role models in STEM. At Girlstart, we bring in guest speakers and have women in STEM lead hands-on STEM activities for girls at our Girls In STEM Conferences. When a girl meets a female engineer, programmer, entrepreneur, scientist, etc. , she can better see herself as a STEM professional one day.” Julie Shannan, Deputy Director
Girlstart is proud to be a Million Women Mentors partner. Throughout the year, we recruit women from all types of STEM careers to share their personal stories of how they became interested in science, technology, engineering and/or math. They also talk about what it’s like to work in a STEM career, which helps personalize the careers in these fields for young girls. We’ve found STEM careers really come to life for girls when we do a fun activity with them. Our Girls In STEM Conference for 4th – 8th grade girls is an opportunity for women to not only share about their careers, but also do an activity. Last spring, we had 80 women in STEM share their personal story and talk about their journey. It is really amazing to see girls connect the things they enjoy doing with a lucrative job they could do when they get older.
Here is what 4th-8th grade girls told us after learning about STEM careers from some of our women volunteers at our Girls in STEM Conference:
“[Girlstart] gives girls a stepping stone into fields mostly populated by men.”
“We can do things many boys do.”
“Getting to know about fun careers in STEM.”
“It encourages girls to become scientists and engineers.”
In 2015, we plan to include the Million Women Mentors movement in volunteer newsletter and encourage more women to take the pledge to mentor. We are also inviting all our volunteers who sign up for Girlstart to sign up as an online mentor.