Science Club for Girls: advancing K-12 girls’ literacy and confidence in STEM through mentorship
Presented by: Science Club for Girls
Strand: K-12 Education
The mission of Science Club for Girls (SCFG) is to foster excitement, and increase self-confidence and literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) amongst girls and young women, particularly those from underrepresented communities, by providing free, experiential programs, and by maximizing meaningful interactions with women mentors in STEM.
Science Club for Girls operates various after-school and weekend enrichment programs that reach approximately 1,500 girls in grades K-12 annually, with over 70% of participants coming from racial or socio-economic backgrounds that are underrepresented in STEM fields. Our target population is girls who are non-white, non-Asian, and/or whose family income is less than 275% of the US Federal Poverty Guideline for family size. Our programs can be found at 17 sites across eastern Massachusetts, including Boston, Cambridge, Newton, and Lawrence. Sites are hosted by schools, community centers, the campuses of colleges and universities, and inside the corporate offices of our partner companies in STEM fields.
While our exhibit will share information about our organization as a whole, it will focus on our K-5 “Science Club” and middle school “STEMinistas” programs. We will share information on how we structure our programs tailored to elementary and middle school girls’ developmental needs, and how we leverage a constellation of adult mentor and near-peer mentoring relationships in a single girls’ experience in a Science Club to further her confidence and literacy in STEM.
The success of these programs goes back to well researched promising practices, utilizing strong mentors, having youth drive the content of the programs, and making the experiences relatable to themselves and the community.