At STEMgirls, we promote an inclusive and collaborative environment. Our instructors are available to answer questions and work individually with girls to ensure that they are going at a pace with which they are comfortable with while still being challenged to learn and excel. Most of all, we want girls to experience how fun STEM education can be and encourage them to share what they learn with their friends.
In 2-hour weekly sessions that take place after school for twenty weeks, a STEMgirls volunteer instructor teaches coding concepts for half the session, and sets students loose on projects for the rest. They are encouraged to demo their finished products and be proud of their creations while supporting their peers.
Through sponsorships, we have been able to provide students with robots to expose them to hands-on engineering. They become familiar with Arduinos and Ozobots, and gain experience in the interactions between hardware and software.
STEMgirls focuses on more than just imparting technical skills. Members learn how to showcase their creations, work in a team, and learn more about career opportunities in STEM through field trips and presentations.
We have 4 levels, as of now, to ensure that students with varying levels of expertise in coding continue to learn and be challenged. There's always more to learn, and STEMgirls is an amazing opportunity no matter how much experience you have coding.
This course is cumulative, so whenever students learn a new coding concept (variables, operators, conditional statements, loops, etc.), they apply it to a project while incorporating skills they've learned in the past, as well. For example, they've created screen savers, graphic art, and games based off popular mobile apps (e.g. Flappy Bird, Temple Run).
If students have ideas about interesting projects they can create with their newfound coding knowledge, they are encouraged to develop those ideas into reality. In the final two weeks of the program, students get a chance to work in a team to create a final project that does anything they'd like. Instructors help them with problems they are stuck on, but students largely complete this almost entirely on their own. This builds their confidence and shows their potential to thrive as innovators and creators in the technology space.
Past final projects include:
-A website that allows users to manage their time while doing homework,
-A video game in which a character jumps over obstacles (named after struggles students often face) in their way,
-A website that tracks how much water someone uses over a period of time,
-And much more!
Give us a call:
We will never turn away a girl who wants to learn due to cost, but ask for a small donation of $15 for those who can afford it to organize field trips and speakers.
There is always an adult present with students on campus, generally a faculty advisor, and our programs are held directly on their school campus. The wellbeing of the children is our priority, and we make sure that they are provided with everything they need, so all they need to do is focus on having fun and learning lots!
There's more to STEMgirls than just learning in class! We generally have at least two field trips scheduled for each STEMgirls program, one to the San Jose Tech Museum, and another to a major tech company like Facebook or Google. These trips are not only exciting experiences; they also give members a glimpse into what working in the tech field can be like and help them visualize the bigger picture regarding the amazing changes technology can bring to the world.
Every few weeks, we invite a presenter (generally a woman in the tech industry) to discuss their experiences getting to where they are and answer any questions the girls have about pursuing a career in STEM fields. We emphasize that regardless of what career someone chooses to pursue, learning how to code is an applicable and relevant skill. These speakers show girls that gender should never be a limiting factor to the heights that they can achieve.