Girls in STEM Host First Virtual Girl Powered Initiative Event for Lower School Girls

On the afternoon of Wednesday, October 21, Upper School Girls in STEM hosted the first virtual Girl Powered Initiative for girls in the Fourth and Fifth Grades. Forty-nine participants gathered together to talk about STEM, get to know one another, and have fun learning about the center of mass through several hands-on activities. Girls in STEM is sponsored by Nancy Rush, Upper Science Teacher, and STEM Coordinator, and she and two of the club members shared their thoughts on this successful event.

Nancy Rush: “Girls in STEM is a Ninth-Twelfth Grade student-run club. Our activities and events are shaped each year by student interest, but one event that the Upper School girls choose to run annually is Girl Powered Initiative. This year marks the fifth year hosting the event, which is part of a national initiative to get more girls interested in STEM through the field of robotics. I could not be prouder of the Upper School girls’ efforts, especially as the student leaders re-imagined this day into a hands-on interactive online event. It was really a labor of love.

In its essence, the event is about leadership, mentorship, and connection around a shared interest in STEM. I often say to people that there is an indescribable energy you feel when you are at a Girls in STEM meeting, and it was certainly felt at this event - even through the ZOOM boxes! The Lower School girls were full of interest, curiosity, and excitement that energized the Upper School mentors. One goal of the Girls in STEM club is for the Upper School girls to mentor the younger girls and at other times create opportunities to meet role models for themselves in their fields of interest. An added benefit of our ZOOM event was that it made it possible for alumnae to attend. This year, in addition to mentoring the younger girls, our Upper School girls had an amazing experience seeing those girls who had previously inspired and supported them when leading this event in prior years.”

Audrey K. ’23: “I think it is incredibly important to encourage younger girls into the STEM field and help them explore their interests in STEM. The preparation was a fairly long process, but it was definitely worth it.” 

Rachel L. ’22: “The Girl Powered Initiative, I would argue, is one of the most important events we do all year. Not only does it work to inspire young girls to follow their STEM-related passions in full force, but it gives them older female figures to look up to in a male-dominated field. I can't wait to hold more mentorship events in the future to further achieve these two goals!”