STEMinista program encourages girls to get involved with STEM

September 17, 2019 09:47 AM

Passion for STEM is taking flight inside the UAlbany drone lab where a group of fourth graders is on track to defy the odds.

“I like science because it teaches me about like new things,” said 4th grader Amari Hall.


“It's really fun doing science and all the programming stuff,” said student Aaliyah Horne

 “I would say it's my favorite subject. I just like it cause most of the time it's like hands-on and it's with all different things you get to learn about,” said fourth grader Abbie Dolland.

Amari, Aailiya, and Abbie are three of 22 girls that make up the STEMinistas. The STEMinista program is in its first year in the Albany City Schools and consists of two girls from every elementary school in the district.

Sara McGraw heads up the STEMinistas and is the supervisor of the Albany City School’s math, science, and STEM departments. She says studies show most girls lose interest in STEM by the age of 11. STEMinistas hopes to change that.

“This was a way to capture a group of girls who still have a passion for science technology engineering and math. Have exposure to different venues, different paths, different career opportunities. Plant those seeds. Water those seeds,” said McGraw.

This inaugural group of girls consists of two girls from each of the district’s elementary schools. The group kicked off with a two-week summer camp program and will now meet several times throughout the school year for hands-on learning activities and field trips.

At UAlbany on Monday, they also had the chance to see how a 3-D printer works and had the chance to operate a student-made robot.

“You see their excitement. They're very excited about being here and we wanna foster that,” said Professor Joette Stefl-Mabry.

The plan is for these girls to stay together as a group throughout their elementary, middle and high school years. A new group of first-year STEMinistas will be chosen every year.


Jacquie Slater

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