Inspiring STEM in Middle-School Girls

inSTEM's learning environment is built around a love of learning, collaborating with peers and mentors, and bringing the participants' creativity to life. Our programs combine Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics using problem-based learning. In addition, inSTEM involves mentorship and female empowerment by nurturing and encouraging girls (especially those in underrepresented populations) to learn about STEM areas as an option for high school, college, and professional studies.

Building tomorrow's leaders

Women are great at building relationships, empowering others, tuning into people’s needs, and balancing a staggering number of responsibilities making them uniquely qualified as leaders in the STEM fields. Through the inSTEM program, we assist them with the building blocks they will need to overcome the gender gap and be the future leaders the industry needs.


 
 

Women in STEM

  • Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as college-educated women have increased their share of the overall workforce.
  • Women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs – considerably higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs.
  • Women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.

Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation

How do we go about closing the gender gap?

Sparking Interest Early

In assessing nationwide STEM education initiatives, current research shows that girls are more likely to choose courses and careers in science and math if their interest in these fields is sparked and cultivated throughout the school years. It is imperative to introduce young women to these fields in ways that help to contextualize STEM opportunities within their interests and experiences.

Girls Working Together
Mentorship

Joceyln Goldfein, director of engineering at Facebook, told the AP “The reason there aren’t more women computer scientists is because there aren’t more women computer scientists.” To end this cycle, young women need to be provided with female mentors early on and then be encouraged to become mentors themselves.

Availability

Women, especially women of color, continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields. Despite it being a lucrative in-demand field, women and girls face multiple challenges in their schooling causing them to walk away every step of the STEM education path. By middle school many girls’ starts to lose interest toward these fields and towards the end of high school fewer girls than boys plan to pursue STEM studies in college. Women who do graduate with a STEM degree enter a workforce faced with significant implicit bias that continually block women’s participation and advancement.


 
 

Our Activities

All of our activities are designed to empower these young women and engage them in all that science, technology, engineering and math have to offer.

Program Breakdown
 
 

Meet Our Staff

inSTEM is led by a combination of DePaul University faculty, staff, and students. In addition, young women who have completed the inSTEM program  often return to serve as high school mentors.

Who We Are

The inSTEM program is generously sponsored by

Blinderman

It is through their support and the support of our donors that we are able to continue offering this program at no cost to the middle school girls or their families.