Interested in a career involving STEM? Stop by Girls4Stem!
Currently, careers involving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, otherwise known as STEM, are dominated by men. While there’s definitely been an improvement in more recent years, the gap is still noticeably wide, but women across the world are working to close it.
Sophia Sunkin, the president of the Girls4Stem club, is one of many women working to close the gender gap in the STEM world. She notes, “I noticed the disparity between the number of girls and boys in STEM camps and classes, especially having to do with computer science. This actually made me initially shy away from furthering my STEM interests as a kid, since I often felt intimidated and out of place. Later on, I found out this disparity isn’t limited to classes and camps but is common in STEM fields as well.”
The issue struck a chord with Ms. Sunkin as she continued, “Though this has been improving, especially in recent years, I still wanted to play my part in addressing this issue by founding Girls for STEM to encourage girls to pursue their interests in STEM. Furthermore, I wanted to give all students, regardless of gender, the opportunity to explore and learn about various STEM careers from professionals.” Thus, the Girls4Stem club was created.
Every Friday after school a meeting is held where the club members work on planning speaker days and advertisements of those days. Sophia Sunkin encourages students to stop by at one of their meetings, “If you’re interested in STEM and/or just want to explore different careers, this is the place for you! You’ll be able to learn firsthand what it’s like to work in STEM fields and make friends with like-minded people. Even if you don’t think you’d be interested in STEM as of now, it doesn’t hurt to explore!”
On days when a speaker is present, members are able to talk with women working in one of the fields of STEM. These presentation days are especially valuable to club members because they can ask questions and further their knowledge of multiple careers that fall under the STEM category.
“The purpose of this club is to encourage girls to explore their interests in STEM and to give opportunities for Mission’s students to learn about STEM fields. Our ultimate goal is to create a community of support for everyone interested in STEM,” Sophia Sunkin states. Thankfully, Girls4Stem has been able to function fairly normally as a club even though their meetings are all held online. In fact, online meetings have proven to be more beneficial than harmful to the club.
“Rather than holding in-person events, we’re holding all our events over Zoom. This has actually made things more accessible, especially for the speakers,” Sophia Sunkin happily explains, noting that “boys are more than welcome to join the club to learn as well as support our community!”
The last meeting was held on Friday 20, 2020, and had six guest speakers from the University of California Irvine. Their next speaker has yet to be confirmed, but to find information about their meetings, past, present, and future, you can check their website for more details: girls4stem.club.
You can also join their Remind by texting @girls4stem to 81010 or adding the class on the Remind app. Girls4Stem hopes to see you at their next meeting regardless of your gender.