September 20, 2021

A Chat with Chloe: Past Girls in STEM Participant and Future Chemical Engineer

Past Girls in STEM Participant and Future Chemical Engineer

For many children, science can be an overwhelming subject in school. At Discovery Place, we aim to encourage more young learners to study the sciences. Through our Girls in STEM programming, we place a special focus on getting more girls interested in science careers. From workshops and classes to camps and mentorship opportunities, Girls in STEM provides real-world problems for participants to solve using critical thinking skills.

“Traditionally careers in science have been targeted toward white males, and science education, in general, has been geared toward males,” says Tifferney White, Discovery Place Chief Learning Officer. “With Girls in STEM, we are working to inspire girls at a young age and foster their love of science before middle school, which is when we see young women start opting out of science learning opportunities.”

Research shows that as girls progress through school, their interest in STEM subjects decreases. Because of the way STEM has traditionally been taught in schools, girls tend to lack self-confidence in their abilities to solve mathematics and science problems. Girls in STEM classrooms are designed differently — with images of leading female scientists as role models, for example. “We want to place people on a path where they can see people like themselves,” White says. “You can’t be it if you can’t see it.”

Girls in STEM participants often start the programs timid and reluctant, but as their learning continues, that reluctance begins to fade and a genuine interest in science takes center stage.

Chloe (age 12) attended one of the Girls in STEM Summer Camps at Discovery Place Science earlier this year thanks to a scholarship provided by Google Fiber. We asked her a few questions about her experience, and here is what she had to say:

Q: What kinds of activities did you do at Camp?
A: I soldered, used computers, used cool robots and watched a cool show.

Q: What was your favorite part of Camp?
A: Playing with the little robots and soldering. I also learned to code!

Q: How can you use what you learned in your everyday life?
A: I can use it during my free time if I would like to keep doing those things I could code on my computer or I can ask my dad for his soldering iron.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why?
A: I want to be a chemical engineer because it looks fun and cool.
With the Girls in STEM program, we hope many more girls like Chloe will continue their journey to achieving their dreams around science learning and education. For more information on the Girls in STEM programs, click here: