Adding sparkles to STEM: WPI women empower young women with Girls Inc. Eureka!
Department(s):STEM Education Center
The Ultimate Sparkle STEM Mini Camp for students in Eureka!, Girls Inc. of Worcester's STEM program, took place at WPI July 10-13, 2023. It was an all-women-led experience to spark curiosity and inspiration in STEM among young women. The STEM Education Center and graduate student volunteers prepared a truly immersive and hands-on STEM experience for 10 girls. The students designed and printed their own 3D puzzle, experimented with rocket reactions, assembled paper circuits, learned about women who use science and technology to positively impact the world, wrote and acted in movie trailers starring women scientists, developed a STEM outreach event for an even younger audience (Eureka! JV), and toured the WPI campus, including the PracticePoint health technology facility.
For graduate students, the event was an opportunity to act as ambassadors for young women in their respective areas of science and engineering. At the same time, the graduate student volunteers demonstrated how science and technology can be exciting and impactful. One of the most important messages the camp delivered to the students was “Women belong in STEM just as they are.’’ All the WPI women volunteers who hosted the mini camp are passionate about supporting and uplifting girls in STEM. Programs such as the Ultimate Sparkle STEM Mini Camp intend to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), address the gender gap in STEM, and build confidence in girls. In doing so, the Center, and the women who support it, foster future talent, a driving force that has the capacity to transform STEM practice by making it meaningful, innovative, inclusive, and relevant to real-world problems. The women at WPI and Girls Inc. hope to continue activities together in the future!