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Maker Girl Mania: Inspiring Future STEM Leaders

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    This case study explores how two educators have created girl-focused STEM events to support and empower our next generation. In order to help close the gender gap in their engineering classes, they created programs that pairs young students with high school students and professionals in industry. Maker Girl Mania, a STEM event created in 2015, uses a variety of hands-on activities at over 25 stations for students K-7th grade to explore, problem-solve, build, and tinker with different facets of engineering. Over 100 high school volunteers and industry partners help the young makers at each of the 25 stations to be successful in their explorations. Tech Girls, an annual event that pairs middle school girls with high school girls, introduces young students to the classes and careers available in STEM including Engineering, Design, Architecture, and Automotive.

    Key Learnings

    • Learn about the gender gap in STEM education and its impact on future career opportunities for young females.
    • Explore the benefits of a female-centered STEM program and identify strategies for creating inclusive learning environments.
    • Analyze the success factors of Maker Girl Mania & Tech Girls and apply them to similar initiatives in their own communities.
    • Develop a plan for recruiting and retaining nontraditional students in STEM programs and careers.