Full STEAM Ahead

Girls in STEAM club looks to decrease gender gap, promote girls’ interest in STEM fields

Girls in STEAM held their second meeting of the new school year on Wednesday, August 29th in the Link Lab.  Attending members ran through tutorials and began to design a building that was meant to solve a current socioeconomic problem on the south side of Chicago using TinkerCAD, a 3D modeling software.

“The concept of designing buildings that benefit the city primarily originated from my experience interning over the summer. I met many people who were really passionate about giving back to this city, and were truly driven by empathy,” Director of Events Aishani Dutta ’19 said. “That experience was a driving force that really inspired me to bring this same concept to the women of Girls in STEAM.”

Sponsored by computer science teacher Jodi Scott, Girls in STEAM meets every Wednesday after school in the Link Lab from 3:30-4: 30 PM. The club aims to promote girls in coding, engineering, and math fields as the gender gap in those industries grows at an increasingly fast pace.

Dutta explained how she found that many women are very passionate about those fields but due to a lack of representation, resources, and role models ultimately decide not to pursue them. The club hopes to help mitigate that problem in both Stevenson and the local community by attending talks, hosting competitions, and leading workshops.

Girls in STEAM, now in their second year as a club, will kick off that effort by leading their first hands-on workshop of the year on September 24th. Students in grades 5-8 will be able to create an object for 3D printing using the TinkerCAD software at Vernon Area Public Library.

The workshop’s aim is to get more girls involved and interested in STEM fields at a younger age hopefully leading to an increase in female representation in the industry. It is the first of several workshops they are planning on hosting this year.

“Coming from a background where we have experienced the problem has made us sensitive to the issue and made us care a lot more,” Dutta said. “We think about not being taken seriously now,  we look at the younger girls and about the fact that they might have to go through the same exact thing. That needs to change.”