FCCF Grant Helps Discovery Launch STEM Program for Girls

Posted by John Chamberlain on April 20, 2017 in Cool STEM Stuff Press Release Program Spotlight
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Discovery Museum recently received a $25,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation to support Mighty STEM Girls, a free afterschool program dedicated to inspiring and empowering girls through STEM learning.

The Museum offers weekly hour-long lessons that begin with information about women who are STEM innovators, inventors, or pioneers, along with correlating hands-on activities that enable participants to step into the shoes of the STEM experts they study. Students have been meteorologists, code breakers, engineers, and storm chasers.

“With recent data showing that girls often out-perform their male counterparts in middle school science and math proficiency tests, the under-representation of women in STEM careers is troubling. Yet this is a challenge that science museums are well positioned to address,” shared Steve Baumann, Executive Director. “We want to engage the Mighty STEM Girls with lessons and activities that are fun and inspiring so they see invention, discovery, and exploration as a natural part of solving problems, and understanding the world around them.”

“Mostly, I am astonished by their enthusiasm for the unknown and their creativity,” noted Sarah Tropp, STEM Learning Programs Manager. “The students tell me about news stories they saw that relate to STEM and they tell me their informed opinions on what that news means for them and for society. Most days I run a little late because they have so many wonderfully insightful questions that an hour just isn’t enough time for all they want to know.”

Mighty STEM Girls are encouraged to bring questions about either STEM topics or previously discussed STEM leaders to class. Over the course of the program, the Museum has seen participants growing in their engagement, curiosity, and empowerment. Thanks to the generosity of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s (FCCF) Fund for Women and Girls, Mighty STEM Girls was offered to all girls enrolled in 4th grade at two Bridgeport Public Schools during the fall of 2016.

For more information contact: Alexandra Cannon, Director of STEM Learning Programs, cannon@discoverymuseum.org, 203-372-3521 x143.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards, and has awarded $180 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org.

The Discovery Museum provides dynamic, hands-on STEM experiences that resonate with the innate curiosity, learning desire, and spirit of exploration of our guests. The Museum has Summer STEM Programs, as well as 80+ STEM Learning Programs offered to schools and group field trips, and grant-funded programs like Mighty STEM Girls. For more information, visit www.discoverymuseum.org.