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Engaging Girls in STEM

Sarah Lacy

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Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, commonly known as STEM, has become an often-used acronym in the field of education. When we look at its impact on young girls, we see why. According to a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce, only one in seven engineers in the U.S. is female. In fact, women hold fewer than 25 percent of STEM jobs and hold a small share of STEM undergraduate degrees.

Intouch Solutions’ Front End Team Lead, Jessica Ralston, and Senior Front End Developer, Amy Kurtz, share a passion for mentoring young girls and helping them realize that careers in the STEM fields are not only attainable and rewarding, but also fun!

To support this passion, Jessica and Amy volunteer as mentors with Tech sHeroes. Established by Robert Hofmann, the director of career and technical education at Shawnee Mission School District, Tech sHeroes invites Kansas City women in technology career fields to connect, inspire and form relationships with middle school girls from Trailridge Middle School. Jessica first learned of Tech sHeroes through its partnership with the Kansas City Women in Technology organization and was immediately intrigued.

“I have a daughter and I would like for her to see examples of women working in the technology and STEM fields,” said Jessica. “I feel that it is my responsibility as a woman with a career in technology to let young girls know how they can get involved, learn and eventually pursue their own careers in a STEM fields.”

As mentors, Jessica and Amy work with the girls on coding projects, accompany them on STEM related field trips - like their recent trip to a CoderDojo session at the Google Fiber Space - and are planning a technology job shadowing day at Intouch to take place later this spring.

“When the girls come to Intouch, we plan to have a panel of women in different areas of the business talk about what they do here, what they studied in school, and how they got into the technology field,” said Jessica. “So far we have received a really positive response as several women have already volunteered to be a part of the panel.”

The culture at Intouch thrives on volunteering and devoting time to worthy causes. We are so proud of our philanthropic-loving team of associates and are excited to share their stories with you!

Learn more about Tech sHeroes and how you can get involved here

 

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