Image Credit: Girlstart
Image Credit: Girlstart

Have you heard of STEM?  We don’t mean dandelion stems (although most cows find dandelion stems delicious).  STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.  STEM jobs grew three times faster than non-STEM jobs over the past 10 years and STEM workers earn about 26% more than their non-STEM counterparts. Surely, you can see both the need and advantage for introducing kids and training young people in the STEM fields.  But did you know that there is currently a STEM crisis?  There is a shortage of women and girls working in and studying these fields.  How can you help the young women and girls in your life get interested in STEM disciplines?

Luckily for Austinites, Girlstart, one of the first and premier education programs dedicated to empowering girls in science, technology, engineering and math, was founded in Austin in 1997.   Girlstart provides year-round community based education progamming for girls including: Girlstart After School, Girlstart Summer Camp, Girls in STEM Conference, and Community STEM Programmning.  A 2011 SEDL study found that Girlstart’s After school program is the most robust STEM program for girls in the country.  Almost 600 Austin area girls will attend Girlstart summer camps this year and a girl in your life could be one of them.  In a year Girlstart reaches almost 12,000 educators and girls.

One of the best parts about Girlstart is that the majority of girls are able to attend Girlstart programs with little to no personal costs for their families.  Girlstart scholarships and sponsorships are largely funded by generous donations from community members.  96% of girls participate at no cost!  This non-profit also owes a large part of its success to volunteers and Girlstart alumnae who come back to volunteer with other younger girls.  The goal of Girlstart is to inspire young women and girls to develop an interest in STEM electives, majors and hopefully careers.

There are six really good reasons why you should consider sending the girl in your life to Girlstart Summer Camp.

For more information: http://www.girlstart.org/