Next month, there is going to be a special event to encourage an interest of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) for middle school girls in San Jose, California. I am so excited about this event for girls in STEM! Though girls might like those subjects when young, few pursue careers in them. I think it’s a shame and have always encouraged my daughter to learn more about STEM education.
STEM Education — Why the Need for Focus on Girls
When I was younger, I worked as an engineering assistant to draft blueprints of mechanical and electrical systems. The ratio of men to women in the field was staggering with only a handful of female engineers. Even in my AutoCAD (computer-aided drafting) classes before that, there were only a couple of other young women aside from me attending. It’s not easy gaining respect in such a male-dominated environment. But, if more girls were exposed to STEM education from a young age and encouraged to foster those interests, more would enter those fields later on in life.
Due to media and cultural norms shifting their focus, many girls seem to lose interest in STEM during the middle school years. At that time, boys are naturally encouraged to learn about engineering while girls are often nudged in another direction. That’s why outreach events such as this, which encourages more girls in STEM, are so important. Young women can see that, not only is it okay to like STEM, but they can be competent and successful in those fields as well.
STEM Education — We Local & SWENext DesignLab Event
We Local San Jose will be featuring SWENext DesignLab on February 25, 2017 at the Marriott in San Jose, CA. This outreach event will allow middle schoolers to experience various facets of engineering.
At SWENext Design Lab San Jose, middle schoolers will participate in hands-on engineering activities led by women engineers and learn what it’s like to be an engineer. There will also be a special event for parents and educators to learn more about engaging children in STEM, exposing them to engineering and guiding them along the path to becoming an engineer. Programs like SWENext Design Lab San Jose are crucial in the effort to encourage more young women to pursue STEM and to ultimately close the gender gap in technical fields.
The event is open to middle school girls in grades 6-8. Registration is $7 for the student and $5 for accompanying parents. You can visit the main event page to get more details, download the flyer, and register your daughter for the event.
SWENext DesignLab San Jose 2017
When: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Where: San Jose Marriott; San Jose, CA
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Check-in opens at 1:30)
Though my daughter is too old to attend this event, I hope other San Francisco Bay Area parents take advantage of this opportunity for STEM education. This might be the push your daughter needs to work toward a future in science or engineering. Don’t forget to register today!
Of course, it wouldn’t be any fun to leave our hopeful high schoolers out, though. Junior or high school students in the greater San Francisco and San Jose areas are invited to apply for the SWENext DesignLab San Jose High School Community Award. Applications are being accepted through February 15, 2017. If your kids or anyone they know is interested in STEM and would like to apply, visit this page for details.
I was compensated to share news of this event, which is something I was more than happy to do. All opinions are my own.