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

NHL prospects returning to Penticton for Young Stars Classic

After a one-year absence the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic is returning… Continue reading

UPDATE: Australia wildfire event in Penticton cancelled

Mike Bridson has been fighting the fires in Australia, and returns to help more later this month

South Okanagan swimmers and coach off to Euro 2020 in Belgium

Three members of the KISU Swim Club are headed to Belgium to compete in the Euro 2020 meet

Controversial patio expansion in downtown Penticton to be addressed at council

Cannery Brewing seeks the City’s permission to open a patio on Ellis St.

Third South Okanagan show added for PAW Patrol Live!

A third show was announced for the PAW Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure show at the SOEC

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Summerland taxes expected to rise by 4.0%

Increase to add an estimated $77.73 to typical tax bill

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Tourism visits to the Thompson/Okanagan up 18 per cent year-over-year

In 2019, almost 11.4 million people spent at least one night visiting the region

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Most Read