This summer, Girls of Steel collaborated with STEM Girlz*, a program of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh*. Thanks to the National Girls Collaborative Project* for funding this collaboration!

I have always had an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It was truly rewarding to have had the opportunity to expose such lovely young women (STEM Girlz) to the tremendous world of STEM education and careers.

For two weeks in July, Isabella, Anne Kailin, and I worked to aid middle school aged female students of the Pittsburgh Propel Schools* in their exploration of the world of STEM. Many of the girls did not have any idea what the acronym STEM stood for, but I can assure you that they know what each letter stands for and can confidently explain each element to you.

During the camp, we visited Carnegie Mellon University*, NREC* (National Robotics Engineering Center), Carnegie Science Center*, and 4Moms*.  The field trips opened the girls’ eyes to the many opportunities that exist within the Greater Pittsburgh region.  I don’t think any of the girls knew how fortunate they are to live in such an innovative city like Pittsburgh.  Some of the young ladies might even be future Tartans!

Within the classroom at the Andrew Street High School, the students worked on their Hummingbird Robotics* Kits.  In small groups the girls designed and built a robot inspired by summertime activities. The creative designs included a hula girl and a fireworks display. The girls only had about three days to complete their robots.  The intensity rivaled that of the Girls of Steel build season. With pompoms and pipe cleaners cluttering the floor the girls worked diligently to complete their projects even through a few technical glitches.

Overall the girls advanced their knowledge and interest in engineering and robots. Even though a few were reluctant at first I believe we made great strides in decreasing the chitchat and introducing the students to the many opportunities they have as they prepare themselves for high school. I know everyone was excited to finish up the week and enjoy a fantastic day at Kennywood* before STEM Girlz came to an end.

–Kaitlyn

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