CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — While men dominate — in terms of numbers — in technology jobs, at Swift Creek Elementary School it’s the girls who are picking up STEAM.
STEAM stands for Science and Technology Interpreted through Engineering and the Arts, all based in Mathematical elements.
And an after-school all-girls STEAM club is the brain child of teacher Nancy Rader.
She met a female engineer from NASA recently.
“And she said there are not enough females in engineering and math,” Ms. Rader recalled. “We need them.”
Her group meets twice a month to explore STEAM activities.
The hope is that the program gives the girls confidence to take chances in math and science.
“It’s not easy, it’s hard,” Ms. Rader said, “but once you start doing it, they’re like ‘Oh, I got it now.’ No one is there to help them. They’re doing it themselves. That is the key. Do it yourself, have some self-reliance, and you’re going to be wonderful!”
Jamie Buchanan, a Swift Creek ES 4th grader said she was having fun learning.
“(Ms. Rader is) giving you challenges. You’re kind of like, you’re supposed to do this challenge and then you see how it comes out. It’s all kind of fun,” Jamie said.
“I think with this enthusiasm there are going to be more girls next year at this club,” Ms. Rader said. “And I still want it to be girls because I still want to hit that mark of not being sure and getting them to go for it.”
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