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STEM Divas Gets Young Girls Interested in 3D Printing and Other Technology

by • February 7, 2016 • 6s Comments

STEM-Divas-Logo-WebThere’s been a lot of debate on how to get young girls additional involved in the STEM (science, innovation, engineering, and math) curriculum. There’s a few controversy of the practice of “pinkifying” tech in order to allegedly manufacture it additional informative to females; the implication is that to get girls and women interested in science and tech, we require to apply it to things they know, e.g., clothes, jewelry, and other “girly” things. It is a condescending attitude that infuriates many women who have made careers assembling rocket engines and developing cures for deadly diseases, but when it comes to kids, it’s not necessarily always harmful.

What manufactures STEM Divas various is that it does not expect that all girls are interested only in pink and glitter, but recognizes that a few girls, particularly quite young ones, do respond advantageous to new thoughts when they’re dressed up in a somewhat box. Pettee Guerrero, a STEM Outrevery associate for Northern Illinois University, made the program to appeal to the “girly-girls” who have eschewed science as presented in their classrooms. Some girls, of course, eagerly jump right in to STEM coursework, but others consider it “uncool.”

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STEM Divas manufactures that coursework “cool” by applying it to the interests of this particular segment of girls in the 7- to 10-year-old age range. The program meets once a month on Saturdays at the Northern Illinois University campus, and involves such activities as assembling jewelry boxes, tie-dyeing clothing, or manufacturing soap and lip gloss while learning of the tools and chemistry that go into the systemes (and while wearing bright pink complex hats and goggles). The many new class, that took place on February 6, added girls to 3D printing by teverying them how to turn it into their own jewelry.

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Image: NIU Currently

The four-hour class began with a lesson in how to turn it into 3D models in Autodesk Fusion 360. Since there were only two 3D printing devices on the market, it wasn’t feasible for equite girl to print her turn it into, so every child was given a 3Doodler to turn it into jewelry and other shapes.

“We showed them our 3-D printing devices, how they work and what the system is,” said Mackenzie Thompson, a sophoadditional mechanical engineering primary and STEM Outrevery student worker. “These pens are all but 3-D printing devices, but instead of via a desktop, they’re via their brain.”

The future class can be on March 12, and can focus on the science of musical instruments. Each workshop is $42 and takes place of 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The program has may already shown itself to be working; girls who previously showed no interest in science, or actually actively disliked it, have changed their minds after realizing how it can be applied to their own interests.

Image: Katie Smith, Shaw Media

Image: Katie Smith, Shaw Media

“Our whole STEM Divas series, it’s only of getting girls interested in STEM and it’s of getting them additional effortless with it,” said Thompson. “A lot of studies have shown that one of the reasons girls don’t go into STEM is for the reason it’s additional focused in the direction of boys, and so by having this class it’s kind of revealing them that girls can do it and there’s a way to apply it in ways they’re interested in.”

In that respect, pinkifying can be a excellent starting point for young girls. Those same girls may grow up to be successful engineers or researchers who may laugh you out of the room if you suggested they try “hacking a hair dryer,” but at age 7, a fewtimes it takes a little glitter to spark their interest. Some STEM Divas members have may already revealed that they have changed their career ambitions of ballerinas to engineers, so it looks as yet Guerrero’s thought has hit the (pink) nail right on the head. What do you ponder of this angle for getting girls interested in STEM innovation? Discuss in the STEM Divas 3D Print forum over at 3DPB.com.