Stamford STEMfems Event

Held on May 6, 2016, this special regional event (modeled after our successful STEMfems module launch event in Hartford) was designed to introduce STEMfems in the Fairfield County region, the next geographic area of focus for our continued rollout of DIY History across Connecticut. For this day-long event, we were hosted by Scofield Magnet Middle School whose entire 6th grade (270 students) participated in a series of workshops led by high-level female STEM professionals representing eight corporate partners.

The event was designed to expose the students to women in STEM fields and provide powerful examples of how real people are making a positive difference in the world through STEM. Currently, only 25% of STEM jobs in the U.S. are held by women, and research suggests that only half of girls who are interested in STEM have been exposed to a female STEM role model. We know it’s crucial young women see the connection between STEM subjects and the solving of real-world problems, and this event helped make those connections while also encouraging students to explore the breadth of possibilities open to them through STEM. But the benefit wasn't only for the girls! We recognize the importantance of young men seeing examples of strong women in STEM and exploring ways they can be a part of the solution to the underrepresentation of women in STEM.

Key Outcomes

In analyzing the data from students’ pre- and post-event surveys, we can see that the event was a resounding success! Some highlights:

  • 94% of girls feel more confident in their own abilities after participating in this program
  • 96% of girls reported that next time someone questions their abilities, they will point to examples fromSTEMfems as proof of all they can accomplish
  • 85% of girls feel they have a better understanding of STEM career options available to them
  • 82% of girls are more interested in pursuing a STEM career
  • 94% of girls and 91% of boys indicated they learned something new while participating in the program
  • 88% of boys feel they now have a better understanding of the challenges their female colleagues face
  • 84% of boys feel they have a better understanding of STEM career options available to them

Selected Student Feedback

“Your STEMfems program is just amazing!” – Ananya

“I learned about women in Connecticut who defied the odds and the pre-conceived notions about women in STEM careers, and changed society. Myself being lucky enough to grow up in an environment where everyone is told that they can reach any goals if they really work hard, and where everyone is encouraged to be the change that they want to see in the world, I find any story where someone doesn't have that and ends up on top truly amazing. This program should be held at all schools!” – Christie

“The most inspiring part of my experience in this program was learning that so many women have been pursuing STEM jobs throughout history and they never quit or gave up, even when they were put down by people who didn't think that women could perform STEM jobs.” – Madeleine

“I learned about Emeline Roberts Jones during STEMFems. She really inspired me because she was the first female dentist in America. This is just another way to prove that women can do anything.” – Manal

“Two Connecticut women that I learned about were Barbara McClintock and Theodate Pope Riddle. These women went through so much just to become who they were, and that really inspired me that you can do anything when you put your mind to it.” – Lorrie

“This program taught me that anyone can do anything, no matter their gender. Anything is possible in this world, and this encouraged me to try something new as well.” – Deborah

“These stories are inspiring to me because no matter where you come from you can always achieve your goal. That’s what I learned from these stories.” – Henry

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