In January 2017, Hidden Figures hit the big screen and girls around the nation were able to see gender stereotypes break as three historic women shattered the glass ceiling surrounding the STEM industry. Similar to the Oscar award-winning film, an Arizona School district is looking to inspire girls of all walks of life to explore STEM career options.

Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC), a Career and Technical Education district decided to team up with Girl Powered to host an event for girls ages 7-14 based on STEM career pathways. Girl Powered is an organization that host workshops in various locations for young girls and is dedicated to bridging the gender gap within STEM career fields. 

In the beginning of October, the company hosted a workshop at [email protected] where 50 young girls attended. They were able to get a glance at industries within STEM including programming, coding, robotics building as well as science and technology exploration.

The Joint Technical Education (JTED) district is no stranger to encouraging diversity in their programs, but it was important for them to connect with young girls, so they can visualize the endless possibilities of their future. The START campus houses a coding program where a number of high school girls have sparked interest in. 

Four of the program’s students volunteered to share their knowledge with attendees at the Girl Powered event. They got the opportunity to showcase basic coding skills to the next generation of technologists and they were able to promote confidence by setting the example that women can work in STEM. By interacting with these young girls, these coding students allowed them to discover a hidden talent and seek a new passion. 

West-MEC provides high school students and adults with programs in career-driven education and feels that it is important to show youth the many pathways that are available in order to become successful. 

It is time to put a wedge in the gender gap revolving the STEM industry and [email protected] made this possible by opening their doors to Arizona community members to show young girls that they can dream big. The Girl Powered event is another way the district hopes to encourage individuals to pursue career fields and show them that the sky’s the limit.