As the United States is experiencing boom in innovation that spurred some of the biggest tech companies who have become global house hold names, President Barack Obama has called on the citizens of this country and those in education to strategically make STEM learning a high priority. President Obama has layed out a strategy for American Innovation that includes promoting entrepreneurship. In order to meet this challenge and keep America at the forefront of innovation, as she always has been in the international community, we MUST invest in and provide the proper education and resources to our children in regards to STEM learning that will ensure that we can show up on the playing field, perform, and be the top innovators for generations to come.
If our public schools have not yet fully engaged in STEM curriculum for students then parents should not wait for the system to play catch up. Be proactive and supplement your child’s education by involving them in extra curricular activities that will get them on the playing field and in the game, especially our young girls. Listed below are 10 ways & programs that can get your daughter involved in STEM learning and activities:
Supplementing your daughters STEM learning can start at home. With your encouragement and support she can feel free to explore her inner gee. If your child likes to play video/computer games, or enjoys a host of other technical gadgets, encourage her to think about and research how these devices work. Buy your daughter her fist computer sans all the bells and whistles. Purchase media kits and hard drives separately, and encourage her to install these items herself.
Girlstart develops and implements a range of innovative, research-based education and mentorship programs designed to promote girls’ early engagement and academic success in STEM, encourage postsecondary aspirations and persistence in the STEM pipeline among women and other under-represented groups, and develop a diverse STEM workforce for the 21st century.
Girl Scouts introduces girls of every age to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities that are relevant to everyday life.
4. The YWCA
Atlanta, GA – http://ywcaatlanta.org/teen-girls-technology-tgi-tech
Pittsburgh, PA – http://www.ywcapgh.org/STEM_Programs.asp
Green Bay, MI – http://www.ywcagreenbay.org/community-services/youth-development/techgyrls
Locate your local chapter of Girls, Inc. to involve your daughter in their signature Operation SMART program.
6. Charter Schools
Look for charter schools in your neighborhood that have a technology focus and curriculum. This Kipp Tech Valley Charter School in Albany, NY offers free tuition, open enrollment, and boast of out performing the other area public schools.
7. All Girls School
All girls schools offer a focused academic environment, and when you add a STEM curriculum, a generation of female innovators are sure to be successful. This Girls Middle School in California emphasize math, science, and technology, not with the intention of steering girls toward any particular career, but to level the playing field so that girls feel confident and well prepared to delve further into these studies.
8. University and College CSTEP/STEP/STEM Programs
Most colleges and universities offer science enrichment programs to high school students to participate in all year round and/or during the summer. These programs give great exposure to STEM activities at the collegiate level and helps prepare student for entry into college and campus life.
9. Corporate Sponsored Programs
Companies like Google and Microsoft routinely offer diversity programs and initiatives to expose under represented groups to the technology industry. Enrolling your student into these programs will give her a first hand experience.
Blacks at Microsoft Minority Student Day
Google Summer of Code
10. Technical Summer Camps
There are numerous summer camps around the country that focus on innovation and technology. Below are just a few.