26 Sep STEM Beats the Smart Phone?
by Gina Frazier, board member, I Will Mentorship Foundation
“What I liked about S.T.E.M this week is it tells young ladies that there is more to the world than phones, it is hands-on learning and not writing in a book. I am really thankful I came to S.T.E.M this year.” ~S
WOW! Whoever dreamed that Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) would be more interesting to a young girl than her phone! But that is exactly what happened in our GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math and Science) program, as demonstrated by this quote from one of the young participants in our STEM summer camp for girls.
GEMS was a 9 month, I Will Mentorship Foundation (IWMF) program providing academic support, mentoring and professional development for young girls from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM. The girls participated in hands on learning activities which featured problem solving projects that reflect real world issues. They met successful women entrepreneurs and applied the skills that they learned by mentoring younger girls at our STEM summer camp … What better way to learn yourself than by teaching others!
Any way we can Increase opportunities for women in STEM careers is an important step towards realizing greater economic success and equality for women across the board. By engaging girls in some of the most exciting realms of discovery and technological innovation, we can increase their interest in STEM. But this can only be accomplished by increasing girl’s awareness of opportunities, challenging their thoughts beyond traditional realms, and getting them to look out at the world around them … instead of just down at their phones!
About I Will Mentorship Foundation
The I Will Mentorship Foundation (IWMF) empowers youth to make positive life choices through Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math (STEAM) based learning and evidence based mentoring programs focused on increasing academic achievement, strengthening community, and providing exposure to opportunities to improve socioeconomic mobility. http://www.iwmf2.org/
This summer and early fall, Florida Weekly has graciously allowed us, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, to spotlight the nonprofit organizations funded through the Foundation’s 2018 competitive grant cycle. We have asked these grantees to share their stories. We are pleased to partner with these change-makers.
About the Southwest Florida Community Foundation
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $5.4 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of $115 million, it has provided more than $71 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Currently, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are located off College Parkway in South Fort Myers, with satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers. For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com