We’ve Done The Math: Girls Are Great At Solving Problems
Katie Kim is the director of a private co-ed school in New Jersey, one that introduces students to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the earliest grades.
As the school began sending teams to STEM competitions, one of the participants, Clara, noticed that the number of girls was not even close to the number of boys participating at these events. She described the lack of female competitors as “discouraging,” so a few years ago, Clara decided to create the first-ever STEM conference for girls in her state, and Katie and the school supported her vision. It attracted enough enthusiastic participation to warrant another, and another. Solved by Girls is now in its fourth year.
Perhaps it works so well because Katie’s vision was greater than just a math competition, although of course there’s an Olympiad of competitive STEM challenges. The bigger idea is to give girls a chance to see a passion for these subjects as a ticket to their future. They meet other girls who are good at math and science. They get to feel the power of working with others to solve problems. They get a glimpse of what it might be like to use these skills in their work someday.
There’s a guest speaker who’s working in technology, giving the girls a look at where STEM skills can take them. Finally, the day wraps up with community-building exercises that help the girls make connections, feel like a part of something bigger than themselves, and let them know there’s a supportive community as they pursue their STEM studies.
The conference is happening April 23 from 4-7 pm and registration is open now for teams of girls in grades 3-8 at any school in the greater New York metropolitan area.
Our AWB grant will help to underwrite discounted registration for Title 1 schools.