Check out EduSTEM, an awesome initiative from WA (edusteminitiative.weebly.com). Archika Dogra, one of our friends from SAILORS (learn more about SAILORS at our post here), was awesome enough to write this guest post for us. We're so happy to be partnering with them! Read on to learn about their initiative.
Founded by three girls from various STEM backgrounds, we all had come to one consensus. STEM was dominated by Caucasian or Asian males, and it didn’t take statistics or numbers to notice that. In our CTE electives, STEM summer programs, robotics teams, and science clubs, we felt increasingly alienated- and resolved that we would attempt to change the environment around us. Thus, we founded the EduSTEM Initiative. It started off as a morning workshop every week with 5 kids, and has grown to impact over 100 youths in just over a year. Along the journey we have reached out to ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender minorities across the Greater Seattle Area and even further out. EduSTEM is currently run by Archika, Evelyn, and Maya, from Bellevue, WA, along with our numerous volunteers and chapter leaders.
EduSTEM is a proud partner of Greater Seattle Area non-profit Jubilee REACH, a community outreach organization. At the Jubilee REACH headquarters, EduSTEM has held over 20 small-scale workshops for socioeconomic minorities in STEM. EduSTEM has also partnered with Youth Service America & Disney to expand the impact of the initiative, winning a monetary grant in 2017. EduSTEM has been featured in multiple AI4All articles, and is proud to have begun establishing chapters across the nation.
Our end goal is that we aspire to hold and expand both small and large-scale workshops targeting such minorities in STEM, to not just help change the STEM demographic of a single area, but the entire workforce.
On January 15th, 2018 EduSTEM held the first annual EduSTEM Girls Day catered towards girls in 3rd through 5th grade. The event was completely free, featuring speakers from companies like Boeing, along with three rotations focusing on robotics, coding, and lab sciences. The girls came away designing a path-following robot, coding their own Magic 8 Ball, and solving the mystery of a stolen dog with chromatography and blood-sampling techniques. We were booked completely with over 60 attendees from girls all over Washington, some coming from over 2 hours away! All in all, it was a fun day exploring new careers in STEM, discussing STEM inclusivity, and listening to inspiring speakers.
In the future, EduSTEM hopes to continue expanding their impact across the country! We’re currently looking for new chapters to open. Not only that, but we hope to continue partnering with national organizations and initiatives to hold not only larger workshops, but more workshops. On top of the workshop model, we’re currently developing new creative solutions for STEM involvement and further community outreach. Even more exciting, this summer EduSTEM will be showcased at an international conference for community problem solving, perhaps one of the most exciting parts of our developing initiative. We’ve being growing the number of volunteers, demographics, and youth that our initiative has reached out to and are super excited to continue this trend!
We're really excited to announce our next partnership is with STEAM TEAM! Ritik Sinha has written a wonderful guest post for us. Read on to learn more about their awesome initiative! (Also be sure to check them out at steamfs.org, screenshot below)
STEAM team is an organization whose aims are to give children across the Bay Area an equal opportunity at a sciences and arts education. A few students in high school, all current sophomores in high school, noticed that students in their district had many excellent programs in STEAM subjects, but these same opportunities were not available to most students in the Bay Area outside of her school district. Upon noticing that research showed children turned down the idea of pursuing a STEAM career as early as third grade, members of the team wanted to instill a passion for STEAM into elementary school children. Most importantly, we hope to soon change the minority and gender gap in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math - by giving students in schools who request it the opportunity to learn STEAM topics beyond the classroom environment.
What We Do:
In this organization, high school teachers go to a school every two weeks to teach concepts in math, physics, biology, engineering, art, and technology. The team teaches third through fifth graders in elementary schools. Our idea is that any school who requests us to teach will be able to have their students learn about topics in STEAM that will spark an interest in them. Our carefully created curriculum involves creative, thought provoking experiments, and our teachers include only experienced and extremely capable high school students that are passionate about STEAM and who care about the impact they are making on communities.
One of our key goals is to continue to grow our team, as well as the number of students who go through our program. To do this, we frequently advertise. We update our public website often, at steamfs.org, and this site is where people are able to make a request for us to teach at their school. On this site we also allow students to apply for a position on our team. In addition to using our website to advertise, we also occasionally use school announcements at our local high school as a way to expand our team. This helps us gain team members who are passionate about STEAM have received a similar education to us - so are competent to teach. Additionally, we ask local news sources to feature us. This particular method is effective in both gaining team members and especially letting schools know about our program.
So far, we have been quite successful. In the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year, we have had about 60 students pass through the program. Of these students, 37% were Hispanic/Latino, 10% were African American, and 18% were Asian/Pacific Islanders. As we see here, a majority of the students who participated in the program were minorities. As we continue with our program, we hope to see similar success, if not better.
As our team continues to grow, we usually think about our future plans. We hope to continue visiting new elementary schools, especially those who request it. We hope to also serve schools that are in areas without as much STEAM funding so that we can provide students in these areas with a STEAM education that they do not have current access to. To make this goal feasible, we also hope to expand our team in order to be able to go to more schools.
We're so excited to partner with Girls in TE! Sarah and Cindy have been awesome enough to write a blog post about their outreach event.
This past summer, Ms. Sarah Chun attended the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Research program and had the unique experience of creating a poverty detecting computer-vision algorithm in regards to Mapping Poverty in Uganda based on features extracted from Google Satellite Images. Ms. Cindy Xie is an award-winning graphic designer and has competed in multiple hackathons across the nation. Together, they hope to bring Girls In TE to their home in Ontario, Canada in order to encourage local girls to pursue the future field of computer science and engineering.
Girls in TE
Girls in TE is a growing organization that is based in London, Ontario to fill the need for gender diversity programs in technology and engineering within our city. Although our organization is quite young, our founders have great expertise in the area of gender diversity initiatives in technology and engineering.
Through attending different STEM-outreach events all throughout Canada, Girls in TE realized that there weren’t many technology opportunities for high school girls specifically in Ontario. Ms. Chun is also a mentor at Ladies Learning Code, where most opportunities were geared towards children (ages K-8) and young professionals (18+). So, we decided to fill in this gap by creating a non-profit organization that is dedicated to encouraging high school girls to pursue TE careers.
Our inaugural event: the Girls in TE Career Talk
On December 5th, Girls in TE hosted its inaugural event for high school girls throughout Ontario called the Girls in TE Career Talk. We invited six inspirational women from the fields of technology and engineering to talk about their career passages as a woman in TE. We decided to make the Girls in TE Career Talk as our first event to inform high school girls about the careers of TE. Through a Coding Conversation and a Q&A, girls were successfully informed. Girls in TE was featured on a local talk show in London, Ontario called RogersTV and on FMX, a radio station. Girls in TE is different because it is made for high school girls. While there are many STEM initiatives, there aren’t many for high schoolers, which is an extremely critical time in one’s life. It’s the time for one to make life-changing decisions. Our purpose is to inspire girls to pursue careers in TE.
The event was an incredible success, thanks to our community partners and Girls in TE’s event volunteers & coordinators. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Cecile Freeman, a Google Software Engineer, who inspired the high school girls with reasons why we need more women in the technology and engineering fields. As event organizers, we learned that high school girls in London feel that they want more opportunities for them to develop technical skills that would help them in their career.
After our inaugural event, the executive team at Girls in TE are planning a yearly schedule of intensive events catered for high school girls, all across Ontario, Canada. Our collaborations with community organizations include Google, 3M, and GoodNeighbours Canada. We hope to host many technical workshops (Java, Python, 3-D Printing, and Robotics), Hackathons, Field Trips to Tech Company Headquarters, and of course our annual Career Talk.
Thanks again to Girls in TE. We're looking forward to many more exciting events!