Girls Inc. of Carpinteria announced plans to create a dedicated STEM lab on its Foothill Road campus to further enable hands-on learning for girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The creation of the Avantor STEM Lab is funded by a recent $75,000 grant from the Avantor Foundation, which will also include the funding of a new, full-time STEM facilitator.
In addition to the grant, Avantor, Inc. donated KN95 masks for Girls Inc. of Carpinteria staff, members, and their families.
“Education for girls in science, technology, engineering and math is paramount at an early age,” said Jamie Collins, executive director of Girls Inc. Carpinteria. “The generous donation from the Avantor Foundation will enable life-changing programs and experiences that have the potential to shape the future of so many young minds. The addition of an on-site stem lab will also enable the Eureka! program to engage teens year-round to STEM, a core component of the program.”
In addition to Avantor’s support, the Aldrin Family Foundation provided an in-kind donation of materials that will be utilized in the new STEM lab, including its “Giant Moon Map,” a 3D lunar model, and curriculum to introduce and energize girls about outer space. NASA has announced that the next person to take a step on the moon will be a female through their Artemis Plan.
Girls Inc.’s approach to STEM enrichment inspires girls through hands-on, interactive workshops and exposes them to leaders in fields of study in which women, particularly women of color, are underrepresented.
“Our Avantor STEM Lab will serve as a safe space for girls to dismantle machines, observe plants and animals, and build robots through female-led, open-ended activities designed to ignite girls’ passions in these fields,” said Ms. Collins. “We are thrilled to kick off the New Year with these exciting plans, and we are truly grateful for the support from the Avantor Foundation and the Aldrin Family Foundation.”
Added Girls Inc. member Briana Rodriguez, “Before entering Girls Inc., I never imagined I would be interested in a STEM-field career. Girls Inc. has shown me that women can be equally as successful as men in any science field, and they have always addressed the need for more women to be involved in STEM. Girls Inc. explores and introduces us to new STEM activities every day, and it has encouraged and inspired me to become a successful biomedical engineer.”
— Gerry Fall