This week we celebrate ITU's Girls in ICT Day, a global initiative to encourage young women to consider studies and careers in information and communication technologies (ICT). It is important for all our students to know that they have bright futures ahead of them. It is especially crucial for young girls to know they can pursue a career in any field they want. With the stigmas around women working in more male-dominated fields such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), it is imperative to empower girls at a young age to know that they can excel in these fields. Here is a look at the national efforts we have made to expose our young scholars to STEM and lay the groundwork for future careers.
What happens when you combine spaghetti, marshmallows and eager eighth-graders? A recipe for a fun lesson on geometry and balance! Our City Year Dallas team at Franciso Medrano Middle School was paid a special visit by Fluor and Dallas Afterschool where they got to engage in a competitive STEM activity involving building skyscrapers out of marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti. Read more to find out if their skyscrapers rose to the occasion!
There has been a lot of buzz around robots and the rise of artificial intelligence in our daily world. Inventions like Sophia the Robot have caught the world’s attention and we are on the edge of our seats waiting to see where these new advances in technology can take us. Our City Year San Jose AmeriCorps members got a taste of what’s to come in the realm of STEM when they visited the Honda Silicon Valley Lab and met ASIMO, the world’s most advanced humanoid robot! Her students were amazed at its capabilities and left with a new outlook on what a career in STEM could offer.
Hidden Figures was a movie that brought to light many of the injustices and stereotypes that women, particularly women of color, face in STEM. The movie featured black female mathematicians and scientists at NASA who outperformed their male and white counterparts but got less than half the recognition and compensation. While the movie was set back in the 1960s, it is still true today that women are often overlooked for their work and contributions to STEM. STEM is still seen as a male-dominated field and educators are actively looking for ways to combat the belief that women cannot be successful in math and science. Former City Year Providence AmeriCorps member, Mai Raynor-French, reflects on the significance of the movie Hidden Figures and empowering our young girls and students of color to explore careers in STEM.