STEM Van Makes Stop In Wolf Point
Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming hoped to attract girls in the academic areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by having its STEM van come to Wolf Point on Thursday, July 20.
Jess Carley, STEM program specialist of the Montana and Wyoming Girl Scouts, explained that the project was two and a half years in the making as funds needed to be raised and grants were applications completed.
“Especially in eastern Montana and eastern Wyoming, these subjects aren’t as accessible. Bringing it here is super important,” Carley said.
Her recent stops have included Billings, Miles City, Baker, Glendive, Sidney, Glasgow and Malta.
The mobile STEM learning center is equipped to engage girls in a girl-led and girl-focused immersive environment that includes 3D printing, drones, robotics, virtual reality, coding, microbiology and space science.
One of the highlights of the center is anatomy, which allows participants to have a hands-on experience to learn about aspects of the human body.
Carley said there haven’t been as many young women going into the STEM fields as males so the goal is to increase the interest for Girl Scouts. While more than half of the U.S. workforce is female, less than one quarter of STEM careers are held by women. From their initial interest in STEM as a child to majoring in a STEM subject in college to pursuing a STEM career as an adult, the gender disparity needs to change at every stage of girls’ and women’s STEM engagement.
Approximately 67 percent of the population in Montana and Wyoming is rural. This translates to hurdles that can include a lack of access to honors courses, high-level technology business exposure, as well as limited access to quality curriculum and vigorous and engaging math and science courses.
Girls who attended the demonstration on Thursday received a free year-long membership to Girl Scouts.