Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington Hosts First-Ever STEMapalooza
Story by The Oregon Herald Staff
PORTLAND, OR (November 14, 2020)—Today, Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington (GSOSW) kicks off the first-ever STEMapalooza, a two-day virtual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math expo, November 14-15, 2020. Girls will engage with STEM experts, explore STEM careers and experience live webinar panels, science demonstrations, and self-guided activities. STEMapalooza is generously sponsored by First Tech Federal Credit Union.
Throughout the two-day event, girls can explore more than 20 distinct STEM experiences, from live panels and demonstrations to self-guided STEM experiments and activities from partners including:
- First Tech Federal Credit Union
- Cambia Health Solutions Women in Information Security
- Chintimini Wildlife Center
- Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum
- GSOSW Medford Service Center's Garden Leader
- GSOSW Portland Metro Astronomy Club (Girl-Led)
- Haystack Rock Awareness Program
- Mad Science of Portland & Vancouver
- Microsoft Portland
- Miss Oregon
- National Association of Women in Construction – Portland
- Oregon Mermaids
- Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
- Oregon State University's Marine and Geology Repository
- Portland State University Women in Aerospace
- Society of Women Engineers, Columbia River Section
- Women in Science PDX
- Women in Transportation Seminar
- University of Oregon's Pine Mountain Observatory
"We know that for girls—and especially girls of color—representation matters," says Nicole Frisch, Senior Director, Community Engagement First Tech Federal Credit Union. "That's why we're excited to partner with Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington for STEMapalooza, where girls will be able to see and engage with career professionals who look like them, learn about education and career journeys, and find a path for themselves in STEM. It's one way we can work together to diversify the STEM pipeline, and support our next generation of thinkers, doers and leaders."
Research shows that girls are keenly interested in STEM and excel at it. Yet, for a variety of reasons, girls often don't pursue STEM—starting as early as elementary school—and women and girls are underrepresented across all levels of the STEM pipeline. Girl Scout STEM programs are designed to introduce Girl Scouts of every age to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and bridge the gender gap with progression-based, multi-year STEM experiences such as Girl Scouts' new STEM Career Exploration badges. Through STEMapalooza, Girl Scouts in grades 2-8 will be able to complete steps toward these new badges as they connect with STEM professionals, learn about what they do, and discover their pathway to STEM careers.
"At GSOSW, it is so important for us to create STEM opportunities for girls where they can see themselves represented in a field that they have been told is traditionally not for them," says Tessa Crosby, Program Manager for Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington. "We hope to inspire girls through these opportunities to step outside of their comfort zones to try something new, so they can cultivate the skills to become the STEM leaders of tomorrow."
WHO: 175 girls in grades K-12; Girl Scout volunteers and staff; STEM professionals.
WHAT: First-ever STEMapalooza with Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington; Sponsored by First Tech Federal Credit Union.
WHEN: Saturday, November 14, and Sunday, November 15, 2020; various times (see schedule below).
WHERE: Virtual expo; events held via Zoom.
REGISTRATION: STEMapalooza is a virtual expo, open to all girls grades K-12. Preregistration was required by November 12 to access STEMapalooza virtual event sessions. The $7.50 registration fee included access to all STEMapalooza virtual events including panels, live science demonstrations, and self-guided activities; a STEMapalooza activity packet and an exclusive STEMapalooza fun patch.
To obtain access to STEMapalooza virtual events or to arrange virtual interviews, interested media should contact [email protected] or 503-930-5275.
Workshops, panels and demonstrations will take place on the following schedule. Detailed activity descriptions are available at: https://www.girlscoutsosw.org/content/dam/oregon-sw-washington-/forms/STEMapalooza_Preview_Table_FINAL.pdf.
Saturday, November 14, 2020:
9 a.m. First Tech Federal Credit Union
10 a.m. Microsoft Portland
11 a.m. Women in Science PDX
1 p.m. Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum
2 p.m. Portland State University's Women in Aerospace
3 p.m. Cambia Health Solutions Women in Information Security
4 p.m. Haystack Rock Awareness Program
5 p.m. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
7 p.m. University of Oregon's Pine Mountain Observatory
Sunday, November 15, 2020:
9 a.m. Oregon State University's Marine Geology Repository
10 a.m. Women in Transportation Seminar, Portland
11 a.m. Miss Oregon
1 p.m. GSOSW's Portland Metro Astronomy Club (Girl-Led)
2 p.m. Society of Women Engineers, Columbia River Section
3 p.m. Chintimini Wildlife Center
4 p.m. National Association of Women in Construction – Portland
5 p.m. Mad Science of Portland & Vancouver
STEMapalooza is open to all girls grades K-12. Sign up by November 12, 2020 at https://www.girlscoutsosw.org/en/sf-events-repository/2020/girl-scout-stemapalooza.html. Questions? Please email [email protected].
Prospective community STEM partners can learn more at: http://www.girlscoutsosw.org/en/activities/program-partners.html.
GIRL SCOUTS' COMMITMENT TO STEM PROGRAMMING
To learn more about GSOSW's STEM programming, please see: http://www.girlscoutsosw.org/STEM.
Girl Scouts of the USA's STEM Pledge is a multiyear initiative to put 2.5 million girls through progressive hands-on STEM programs by 2025. Donate at: https://www.girlscouts.org/en/adults/donate/STEM-pledge.html.
In July 2020, Girl Scouts of the USA announced 24 new badges, including STEM Career Exploration badges for girls in grades 2-8. Through the new STEM Career Exploration badges, girls explore their career interests and connect them to STEM fields—particularly computer science, nature/environmental science, engineering, design, health and agriculture—that can help them address the pressing issues of our time and change the world. The dearth of women in STEM fields is well documented, but data shows that girls are more interested in a STEM career when they learn how they can use it to help people, demonstrating the value of Girl Scouts' unique approach.
ABOUT GIRL SCOUTS OF OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON
In partnership with more than 6,500 adult members, Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington prepares more than 11,500 girls in grades K-12 for a lifetime of leadership, adventure and success. GSOSW's programs in civic engagement, financial literacy, the outdoors and STEM serve girls in 35 counties in Oregon, and Clark, Klickitat and Skamania counties in Southwest Washington. The Girl Scout mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For more information, please visit girlscoutsosw.org.