Kalia Davis (clockwise from bottom left), Teagan Giroux, Amaya Dunn, Ava Olsson, Brooklyn Prince, Selina Stefanski and Aliana Arteaga Pacheco put their heads together to complete a puzzle challenge for 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.

 

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

Trailer fire near Vernon claims cat

BX-Swan Lake Fire Department currently on scene

Sagmoen expected in Vernon courts for trial start

Pre-trial conference allotted an extra week to trial proper

Vernon students come out of the cold to stage Frozen Jr.

Centre Stage performance brings Disney favourite to life

Falkland shootout suspect has lengthy criminal record

Williams Lake RCMP issued a warrant for Darwyn Sellars’ arrest on Nov. 4, 2019

Vernon golf course among Canada’s best

Both tracks at Predator Ridge crack top-20 in list of 50 best public courses in the country

VIDEO: Rockslide closes Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Kelowna man loses appeal claiming he was too drunk to murder his roommate

Daniel Ruff will remain behind bars and is ineligible for parole until 2027

Province gives $4.93M boost to school-based gang prevention program

The funding will see the ‘Erase’ program expand from 12 to 16 communities

WATCH: Video shows Kelowna bylaw officers throwing away items belonging to homeless

The video, which was uploaded to Facebook on Dec. 4, has drawn the ire of many local residents

Half of shoppers say they have no holiday spending budget

B.C. consumers surveyed estimate they will spend $921 this season

Grandparents raising children: Salmon Arm grandma sees need for support

Peer group formed for those who have unexpectedly taken on the role of parenting

Man sentenced in Salmon Arm to one year in jail for luring adolescent girls

Offence took place online, sentence conditions include restrictions on contact with people under 16

Most Read