Girl Scouts to Host Geek Is Glam STEM Expo at WPI
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
More than 470 girls in grades 4 through 8 will attend the event, which is open to the public. It is already filled to capacity.
“Girls will be exposed to some of the area’s top scientific and engineering minds as they engage in the hands-on aspect of exploration and discovery while they build, explore, assemble, and imagine,” said the Girls Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts (GSCWM).
The event is part of the Girl Scouts continued efforts to encourage more girls and young women to pursue STEM careers. A recent study by the Girl Scout Research Institute, Generation STEM: What Girls Say About Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, found that 82% of girls see themselves as intelligent enough to pursue a STEM career, though only 13% say it is their first choice. 60% of girls surveyed said they knew more about other potential careers than about STEM careers.
The study also found that girls are acutely aware of the gender barriers that still exist, especially in STEM fields. 57% of girls surveyed felt they would “have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously” in a STEM career.
Geek Is Glam
“We have titled our event Geek is Glam for a reason,” said Colleen Holmes, Chief of Mission Delivery at GSCWM.
“Some of the disparity in STEM opportunities is a reflection of false, outdated perceptions of what being a scientist, astronaut or engineer looks like,” she said. “With the interactive and up-close activities and role models that Geek is Glam offers, we hope to feed girls’ curiosity and natural ambition, and show them that their own faces in the mirror are the new faces of STEM in a future that can be whatever they choose.”
Geek Is Glam presenters and projects include underwater robot exploration with MIT Sea Grant, creating mobile Android apps, the physics of flight with Mass Audubon, the First Burncoat Green Reapers Robotics Team, the Science of Silly Putty by INEOS, and hot air balloon and rocket science with Top Fun Aviation Toy Museum.
Amanda Schutt, an aquatic ecologist and lead instructor for Science from Scientists, will present the event’s keynote address at 9AM. Stage performances by the Blue Star Planetarium, Science from Scientists, and EMMI: Expressive Machines Musical Instruments will follow.
The event is sponsored by National Grid, the Women’s Initiative of the United Way of Central MA, eClinical Works, and Paragus I.T.
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