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.
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: A Gender Gap to Innovation
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.