Advertisement

Wyoming Community Foundation Grant Gives Momentum to STEM Outreach

 A Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming vest at the Casper office.
A Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming vest at the Casper office. (KCWY)
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 11:41 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BILLINGS, Mont. (Release) - Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming (GSMW) is closer to taking Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) experiences on the road to girls, K-12, in rural Wyoming thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Wyoming Community Foundation.

GSMW is developing a Mobile STEM Learning Center to show possibilities, provide knowledge and hands-on STEM experience to girls at an early age. While more than half of the U.S. workforce consists of females, less one quarter of STEM careers are held by women. From their initial interest in STEM as a child to majoring in a STEM subject in college to pursuing a STEM career as an adult, the gender disparity needs to change at every stage of girls’ and women’s STEM engagement.

In addition, STEM has been distributed in an alarming uneven manner and millions of students across the country exist in STEM “deserts”. Approximately 69% of Wyoming’s population lives in rural areas. This translates to hurdles that can include a lack of access to honors courses, high-level technology business exposure, as well as limited access to quality curriculum and vigorous and engaging math and science courses.

Briana Rickman, Director of Fund Development for GSMW, says the Mobile STEM Learning Center helps us bridge both gender and geographical gaps by ensuring that girls of every age in rural areas have opportunities to explore STEM possibilities as a future career.

“We love the wide open spaces of the mountain west, but it also poses challenges for girls to get to larger towns and cities where many STEM programs are held. With the Mobile STEM Learning Center, we take the STEM experience to girls. This mobile Learning Center allows us to create and optimize an environment where girls explore freely, expand their perspectives and, hopefully, pique their interest and confidence to explore STEM even more. When there’s space for a girl’s imagination to grow, there’s no stopping where she’ll go.”

GSMW plans to have the Mobile STEM Learning Center on the road by March of 2022 with the goal of providing STEM programming to girls in every Wyoming county within its first two years.

The GSMW Mobile STEM Learning Center requires an additional $57,000 to be raised before it can be completed. If you would like to support this project, please contact Briana Rickman at brianar@gsmw.org or 800-736-5243.

Copyright 2021 Wyoming News Now. All rights reserved.