Capital Area United Way Women’s Initiative Awards Achievement Grant to Young Women’s STEM Club

2020  Girls:  STEM  Club  for  Young  Women,  a  partnership  between  Information  Technology  Empowerment  Center  and  the  Michigan  Council  for  Women  in  Technology,  receives  a  $26,000  grant.

November 7, 2013

Women  make  up  just  11  percent  of  engineering  employees,  according  to  the  National  Council  for  Research  on  Women.  And  only  4.1 percent  of  girls  asked  about  their  career  expectations  plan  to  go  into  a  STEM  career.

A  group  of  Lansing  women  is  trying  to  change  that.

The  Women’s  Leadership  Council  of  the  Capital  Area  United  Way  recently  awarded  a  $26,000  Women’s  Initiative  Grant  to  the  new partnership  between  Information  Technology  Empowerment  Center  and  the  Michigan  Council  of  Women  in  Technology  in  support  of  their innovative  “girls  only”  STEM  program  called  2020  Girls.

ITEC  has  conducted  youth  classes  in  the  Lansing  area  since  2008,  including  several  courses  geared  towards  girls.  In  this partnership  with  MCWT,  2020  Girls  will  more  explicitly  focus  on  girls  in  the  organizations’  collective  efforts  to  address inequalities  in  STEM  education  and  careers.

“2020  Girls  seeks  to  combat  the  perception  that  STEM  subjects  are  inherently  for  males  or  somehow  off-­-limits  to  women  and girls,”  says  Kirk  Riley,  ITEC’s  Executive  Director.  “We’re  introducing  them  to  instructors  with  whom  they  can  identify  and activities  that  capture  their  imagination.”

A  two-­-year  student  achievement  grant,  2020  Girls  can  expect  an  additional  award  of  $26,000  pending  a  successful  outcomes report.  Building  girls’  affinity  for  STEM  directly  contributes  to  the  CAUW’s  goal  to  help  students  stay  in  school  and  succeed  and  the Women’s  Leadership  Council’s  efforts  to  mobilize  the  power  of  women  in  their  communities.

“We’re  thrilled  with  the  potential  of  this  project  and  its  potential  to  make  a  positive  impact  on  the  lives  of  Greater Lansing  girls,”  says  Joan  Bauer,  Chair  of  the  CAUW  Women’s  Leadership  Council.

Approximately  100  students  will  participate  in  programming,  engineering  and  design  activities  led  by  female  instructors.  They  will also  take  field  trips  to  local  sites  where  STEM  is  a  part  of  daily  operations  and  build  relationships  with  mentors.

“The  program  aims  to  send  these  young  women  on  a  trajectory  towards  success  in  college  and  careers,  in  2020  and  beyond,”  says Maria  Jasinski,  MCWT  board  member  and  VP  of  Information  Technology  at  Michigan  Millers  Mutual  Insurance  Company.  “We’re  so grateful  and  honored  by  the  United  Way’s  generous  support.”  For  more  information  visit  www.iteclansing.org/2020Girls

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