WiSTEM strives to get more girls in STEM

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WiSTEM strives to get more girls in STEM

Caroline Chapon decorates pumpkins with inspirational messages.

Caroline Chapon decorates pumpkins with inspirational messages.

Litzy Segura

Caroline Chapon decorates pumpkins with inspirational messages.

Litzy Segura

Litzy Segura

Caroline Chapon decorates pumpkins with inspirational messages.

Caroline Jacobs, Feature Editor

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One of the most important job fields currently is in STEM, yet just 24 percent of STEM jobs are filled by women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Underrepresentation of women in STEM isn’t new; STEM has always been a male dominated field. Fortunately, students and staff at ETHS have been working hard to encourage female students to get involved in STEM to try to bridge this gap.

One of the most rigorous STEM classes offered at ETHS is Chemistry-Physics (Chem-Phys). A lot of girls who enroll in Chem-Phys end up dropping the class within the three year course sequence. To help avoid this, senior Posey Cohen has developed a mentorship program for sophomore    Chem-Phys students to work with Junior and Senior Chem-Phys students

through this challenging class.

     “Originally, my goal was to keep girls in the Chem-Phys program. However, that has evolved into instilling confidence in these young students to continue on any science track that they feel most interests them,” Cohen says.

     Cohen stands by the belief that Chem-Phys is a great option, but not the only great option for students interested in STEM.

     Another STEM opportunity sophomore Lily Ng took advantage of last year was the Introduction to Engineering Design Women in Engineering course, a class only for girls.

     The girls-only Introduction to Engineering class began last year, and according to teacher Cindy Curtis, there has been an increase in students who want to take these classes.

     In Curtis’ opinion, girls bring a lot to the table in STEM, and the school needs to provide opportunities for safe spaces to make STEM something that appeals to all students.

     “In engineering, you really need to have a diverse group of thinkers and approaches. To be able to have a male voice and a female voice as well as different backgrounds is really going to truly help move engineering fields,” Curtis says.

    Another student taking initiative in the encouragement of female students in STEM is sophomore Drew Patterson. She is Code teaches girls how to code and complete coding tasks. On Oct. 22, they had a “Hackathon” to introduce girls to coding.

     By creating opportunities for female students to get exposed to STEM, ETHS is doing its job to combat that stigma.