Girlstart Puts the Sparkle in STEM

If you haven’t heard of Girlstart, let me introduce you to you a wonderful organization that increases interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to girls grades K-12. Founded in Austin, Texas in 1997, Girlstart has reached over 40,000 girls and 4,000 teachers to provide school-based programs, teacher professional development, summer camps, and community STEM that includes Star Lab, community booths, Saturday activities, STEM conferences and expos, science events and outreach programs. In 2012, over 96% of their services were provided free of charge thanks to the support of sponsors and donations.

What we do and why

“Through its comprehensive programming, Girlstart provides a year-round, intensive suite of STEM education programs for K-12 girls. Girlstart’s core programs foster STEM skills development, an understanding of the importance of STEM as a way to solve the world’s major problems, as well as an interest in STEM electives, majors, and careers”
~ Girlstart

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at their STEM Society Luncheon and take a tour of the Girlstart facilities. My presentation was held in their newly constructed mini-planetarium and covered astronomical sketching past to present. The planetarium is such a terrific addition to their facility, and I’m really excited knowing that the girls (as well as the community) will have access to comprehensive astronomical activities. The planetarium will make its debut September 7th, 2013 during their back to school open house.

Girlstart’s summer camp was in full swing and it was fun to see all the young girls working on projects and having such a great time. We got to see apps that they programmed, 3D drawings made into real life foam objects, hand-painted goal bowls where each girl stated what they wanted to accomplish in life or what they wanted to be when they grew up, robotics, marine biology projects – everywhere I looked, there were fascinating projects going on. Sigh, to be a young girl again with the opportunity to join Girlstart.

Everyone I met was full of life and excited about what they were doing. It’s not difficult to see why. If you’d like to support Girlstart, please visit “their “how to support” page. .

Thank you, Julie and the rest of the Girlstart staff, for having me over and providing such a wonderful experience for all involved. I loved the Girlstart t-shirt, tote and card!
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~ by Erika Rix on July 1, 2013.

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