CINCINNATI, Ohio– STEM-based classes have become increasingly more popular. But for students in underserved areas, they may never have the chance to learn more about technology and engineering. That’s why P&G, along with other Cincinnati-based businesses, sponsored and organized girls in STEM day.
Over 200 rockets launched into the air at the first ever Girls in STEM event hosted by P&G at the Cincinnati Museum Center.
“It has been beyond expectations,” Shellie Weiskittel, one of the event organizers with P&G, said. “Hugely successful. A tremendous amount of high energy in the room.”
But first, the girls have to construct and of course decorate their rockets.
The 220 girls from around the Cincinnati area all come from underserved communities, which is why P&G wanted to host them.
“We wanted to make sure we give girls the opportunity who maybe haven’t had the opportunity to be exposed to STEM,” Weiskittel said.
The event is also centered around girls to pique their interest in a career that many women aren’t pursuing.
“If you look at the global workforce, 52% men, 48% women,” Weiskittel said. “If you get into men, it’s 76% men, 24% women. We really want to change that. We want to make sure that everyone has a vice that we all see equal. Girls are underrepresented in STEM.”
“It just seems really fun, and maybe it can help you be smarter,” Giada Jett a Girls in STEM day participant said.
Event organizers say that the middle school age group is also especially important to gain interest in STEM so that the students can make informed career decisions in the coming years.
“We are going back to a junior high level where the girls will have a chance to learn enough about STEM to get interested,” Weiskittel said. “And we’re helping them with that they need to do in high school, what choices they might make that will open doors for them in STEM. If you don’t take physics in high school, you’re probably not going to get into an engineering program. So we want to equip them now before they make some choices that close doors for them.”
“I think it’s cool that so many people could think of this as a future job,” Maya Obando a Girls in STEM Day participant said. “And I think it’s pretty cool how many people took the time and day to come here.”
And while rocket building and launching were the main focus of the event seeing the fascination in these young girls and having the opportunity to encourage their interests makes it all worth it for these volunteers.
“It’s extremely rewarding to see that this is working with the girls, that they see the interest,” Weiskittel said. “And this is just the beginning. We’ll get these 220 today and continue to grow into the future.”