Amaya Dunn (from left), Ava Olsson, Brooklyn Prince and Selina Stefanski work together on a puzzle during the STEM 4 Girls workshop at Coldstream Elementary Tuesday. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Girl power glows in Vernon STEM workshop

More than 100 students take part in STEM4Girls event

Girls are being shown they too can find success in the traditionally male-dominated world of science, technology, engineering and math.

Women are vastly underrepresented in these fields, also known as STEM, and efforts are underway to get more young females interested.

READ MORE: 50 per cent of Canadians can’t name a female scientist or engineer: poll

The Vernon School District, with IBM Canada, brought together 106 girls from Grade 6 and 7 for a special STEM4Girls Workshop at Coldstream Elementary Tuesday (Oct. 22).

“It’s bringing out awareness that girls can do anything,” said Kathy Wickum, the school district’s principal of career education.

The girls were introduced to STEM, given challenges forcing them to work together and even got a “speed mentoring session” with some women in STEM.

“They spent time with every one of them, learning what those careers are about,” Wickum said.

For Silver Star Elementary student Brooklyn Prince, meeting a pediatrician inspired her and sparked an interest in becoming a doctor.

Seeing the stereotypes women face and overcome in STEM fields opened a lot of students’ eyes.

“I have learned to believe in myself,” Kidston Elementary student Kalia Davis said.

“To not let other people tell you what you can’t do,” classmate Ava Olsson added.

Selina Stefanski, from Ellison, said, “Girls can do whatever they want and we don’t need to listen to other people to believe who we are.”

For Ellison student Aliana Arteaga Pacheco, the day re-affirmed her belief in girl power, “knowing that other people agree with me, that girls have rights too.”

It is at this formidable age that STEM4Girls hopes to inspire more young females to stick to their interests in science, technology, engineering and math.

”By the time they get to Grade 9 they are starting to self select out of things,” IBM Canada workshop leader Krista Shibata said. “By (grades) 6, 7, 8, you are more self-aware, you start doubting yourself more.”

The Vernon students weren’t the only ones to benefit from the workshop. Shibata brought the camp to Kamloops on Monday, where the girls made slime. And more than 80 students from 10 different Kelowna schools took part in some liquid science at UBC Okanagan on Wednesday.

“It’s just nice to see that they are getting excited,” Shibata said.

READ MORE: Behind the blue and white Vernon Carnival clown mask


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A group of Grade 6 and 7 girls put their heads together to complete a puzzle challenge at Coldstream Elementary Tuesday, during the STEM 4 Girls workshop. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Just Posted

Construction for new $6.6 million Lake Country Firehall to start this summer

District councillors voted to approve funding for project back in 2018

Krista Mallory: Steering the Okangan’s economy into the future

She is a business development officer for the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission

Kelowna man charged after naked driver leads RCMP on hit-and-run spree

A Kelowna man has been charged with numerous offences

Racist incidents on the rise in the Okanagan as coronavirus spreads

UBCO professor not surprised by recent incidents

BREAKING: Surrey man pleads guilty on first day of West Kelowna murder trial

Tejwant Danjou is charged with second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Vernon tennis star Vasek Popisil named Best of BC winner

Sport BC honours tennis star for his comeback season after back surgery

Coaches take on players to honour Vernon volleyball player

Vernon Sky Club hosting event with proceeds to the Emily Dahl Foundation

Most Read