Check out EduSTEM, an awesome initiative from WA (edusteminitiative.weebly.com). Archika Dogra, one of our friends from SAILORS (learn more about SAILORS at our post here), was awesome enough to write this guest post for us. We're so happy to be partnering with them! Read on to learn about their initiative.
Founded by three girls from various STEM backgrounds, we all had come to one consensus. STEM was dominated by Caucasian or Asian males, and it didn’t take statistics or numbers to notice that. In our CTE electives, STEM summer programs, robotics teams, and science clubs, we felt increasingly alienated- and resolved that we would attempt to change the environment around us. Thus, we founded the EduSTEM Initiative. It started off as a morning workshop every week with 5 kids, and has grown to impact over 100 youths in just over a year. Along the journey we have reached out to ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender minorities across the Greater Seattle Area and even further out. EduSTEM is currently run by Archika, Evelyn, and Maya, from Bellevue, WA, along with our numerous volunteers and chapter leaders.
EduSTEM is a proud partner of Greater Seattle Area non-profit Jubilee REACH, a community outreach organization. At the Jubilee REACH headquarters, EduSTEM has held over 20 small-scale workshops for socioeconomic minorities in STEM. EduSTEM has also partnered with Youth Service America & Disney to expand the impact of the initiative, winning a monetary grant in 2017. EduSTEM has been featured in multiple AI4All articles, and is proud to have begun establishing chapters across the nation.
Our end goal is that we aspire to hold and expand both small and large-scale workshops targeting such minorities in STEM, to not just help change the STEM demographic of a single area, but the entire workforce.
On January 15th, 2018 EduSTEM held the first annual EduSTEM Girls Day catered towards girls in 3rd through 5th grade. The event was completely free, featuring speakers from companies like Boeing, along with three rotations focusing on robotics, coding, and lab sciences. The girls came away designing a path-following robot, coding their own Magic 8 Ball, and solving the mystery of a stolen dog with chromatography and blood-sampling techniques. We were booked completely with over 60 attendees from girls all over Washington, some coming from over 2 hours away! All in all, it was a fun day exploring new careers in STEM, discussing STEM inclusivity, and listening to inspiring speakers.
In the future, EduSTEM hopes to continue expanding their impact across the country! We’re currently looking for new chapters to open. Not only that, but we hope to continue partnering with national organizations and initiatives to hold not only larger workshops, but more workshops. On top of the workshop model, we’re currently developing new creative solutions for STEM involvement and further community outreach. Even more exciting, this summer EduSTEM will be showcased at an international conference for community problem solving, perhaps one of the most exciting parts of our developing initiative. We’ve being growing the number of volunteers, demographics, and youth that our initiative has reached out to and are super excited to continue this trend!