On November 14th, over 100 girls and their parents flooded the halls of GSCM’s Urban Program and STEM Center for the first GSCM Women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) Festival. Female scientists, engineers, artists, and designers were in attendance to share their knowledge and expertise. P&G Covergirl Cosmetics, the Society of Women Engineers, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the American Institute of Architects, and Art with a Heart were some of the organizations in attendance facilitating workshops and fun hands-on activities with the girls. P&G’s Lipliciousness: The Science Behind Lipsticks, was an overwhelming hit with girls learning about the chemistry of makeup and having the opportunity to make their own lipstick! During the Women in STEAM Career Panel, girls heard stories about what excited the women STEAM professionals to pursue careers in STEM.
Local youth Sierra Seabrease, from the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center, and Dr. Aprille Joy Ericsson, from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center opened the event by sharing their unique STEM experiences, inspiring girls and parents alike to pursue their dreams and shoot for the stars. Sierra introduced the audience to Making, a developing culture where adults and youth are encouraged to design and create using technology (like coding and 3-D printing) and more traditional tools like woodworking and sewing. Sierra’s used the technology skills she learned in the afterschool program at Digital Harbor Foundation to create a digital jukebox piano that she displayed at the White House Science Fair. Girls found Sierra very approachable and enjoyed hearing from their peer about the vast array of technology opportunities that are available for girls.
Parents also had the opportunity to gain knowledge and resources from various STEM professionals. The Pearl Project, NASA Godard Space Flight Center’s Department of education, the US Department of Homeland Security and GSCM all provided parents with resources about how they can further encourage their girl’s interest in STEM.
“The opening speaker [Dr. Aprille Joy Ericsson] was excellent. I liked that she showed the girls that African American women can be doctors/astronauts/rocket scientists too. It was a nice touch that she was able to bring her daughter, who is also a Girl Scout.”
Special thanks to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, P&G, Society of Women engineers, US Department of Homeland Security, Jen Basel Graphic Designer, The Pearl Project Institute, American Institute of Architecture and the American Medical Women’s Association-Hopkins Chapter and Art with a Heart for their support and participation.