Ambassador Girl Scout
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Drawing, painting, crocheting, creating, and working out.
In a word, what does it mean to say, "I am a Girl Scout"?
What is the title of your project?
S.T.E.A.M With Girls That Look Like Us
Tell us more about your project and how you completed it.
My Gold Award project, S.T.E.A.M With Girls That Look Like Us, aims to address the lack of minority women represented in S.T.E.A.M’s growing field of professions. The percentage of minority women in S.T.E.A.M jobs is 8% for Hispanic women and 9% for Black Women. This is a very small representation. In addition to this, I addressed sexism in the workplace, the wage gap, and unrecognized minority women in S.T.E.A.M fields. I also wanted girls to learn soft skills and how to fight against unfair practices in male-dominated fields. I presented S.T.E.A.M professions to girls at my school through the club G.E.M.S, Girls in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science, with the help of my sponsor, Mrs.Vazques. This included presenting to girls in other clubs at my school that were S.T.E.A.M related, and also to girls in my community, such as at Girl Scout troop meetings. In addition, I brought female presenters in S.T.E.A.M professions so girls would feel motivated to pursue a S.T.E.A.M career after seeing a woman that looks like them. I also conducted labs related to the presentations. By requesting participation to complete pre- and post-surveys I was able to gather valuable information. My project will be sustained by my sponsor Mrs. Vazquez and members of the club G.E.M.S at American Senior High School. I will provide the curriculum and include the survey materials, the PowerPoints, and any other necessary resources. During my senior year, I will also continue to lead my project by conducting presentations to different clubs at my school and throughout the community.
Why is this project important to you? What gave you the inspiration to approach this topic the way that you did?
S.T.E.A.M professions have a low percentage of minority women all over the world. I felt my purpose was to inform girls and enlighten them about the vast opportunities awaiting them in S.T.E.A.M professions. In addition to this, my project is important because it is improving our society and the next generation by introducing and encouraging high school minority girls to pursue S.T.E.A.M careers that will increase the number of minority women in S.T.E.A.M professions creating diversity. I am driven to get girls involved in the growing field of S.T.E.A.M careers, which widens the talent pool. I was inspired to do this project because of my love for S.T.E.A.M. I enjoy learning science, especially new topics, and conducting a variety of hands-on investigations. I truly wanted to share my enjoyment with other girls. My goal is for girls to reach their full potential and not limit themselves because they did not see enough women that looked like them in a certain profession.
What was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?
The main obstacle I encountered was time management. In the process of rethinking my approach, I found creative ways to get more students involved and keep them engaged. I also had to figure out how to manage all the data that was collected and ensure that it was accurate. Furthermore, I had to find a way to get the resources necessary to complete the project. I overcame these obstacles by being creative in my approach. First, I talked to more sponsors, and then I talked to groups of girls to get more students involved. I also used online resources to find the necessary materials to complete the project.
How does this project contribute to your future goals?
My Gold Award project contributes to my future goals because I plan to pursue a career in S.T.E.A.M. I am not only helping girls to pursue a profession in S.T.E.A.M. by exposing them to a multitude of possibilities, but helping myself as well. My project has also helped me to understand and embrace leadership by following through and following up, both of which are necessary skills for my success in the future.
What did you learn about yourself in the process of completing your project?
Throughout this project, I learned that I work best when I have clear expectations and a planned timeline to follow. I have also learned to collaborate with others in a team. Additionally, I learned that I am an effective communicator, I can lead a team, and, most importantly, I have learned how to ask for help. I am also creative and I can come up with effective solutions to problems. I researched online resources such as TED Talks to inform myself about leadership, such as Drew Dudley’s “Everyday Leadership.”. Finally, I learned that I am organized and can manage a project to ensure that it is completed on time.
What did you learn about your community in the process of completing your project?
In the process of completing my project, I learned that not a lot of girls in my community knew the meaning of S.T.E.A.M. However, they were eager to learn about S.T.E.A.M professions. I also learned that people feel more inspired when they see someone that looks like them in that particular career.