15 year old microgrant recipient Christine from Redmond, WA used her award to create an outreach program for minority groups that are underrepresented in STEM related career fields. Her project missions are to make a science education accessible to everyone regardless of their financial backgrounds and getting more girls involved in STEM. Christine worked with a local Girl Scouts Troop and hosted a free workshop for girls to try STEM experiments in order to educate them and hopefully spark their interest over the long term.
- How many people participated in your service project? Two people including myself volunteered. We served over 20 girls in our project.
2. How many hours did you and other participants spend on the project? Ten hours.
3. What did you learn from this experience?
I learned a lot of things from this experience. I learned that having a dream or idea is the first step to creating a change, but the subsequent steps are really hard to take and those are the ones that make the change happen. I learned to get out of my comfort bubble and contact people I didn’t know very well to ask for help, or to advertise for our event. I learned how to create a lesson plan for students, and create a curriculum that would be easily understood by young students. I learned that although you can organize and plan every little detail of the event, there is always something that won’t go as planned and you have to be flexible to make it work. I also learned that in creating an event, you can’t do it by yourself. You need the help of multiple people to make it work.
4. How will your project continue having an impact in the future?
My project will continue to reach out to other younger girls to teach them an appreciation for STEM related fields, and hopefully consider a career paths in said fields. This project will expand to more girls and influence a broader range of people. We had a lot of money left over, so I plan to have more workshops and create new curriculums to appeal to a wider range of girls. If we’re thinking really big picture, maybe the girls would be significantly impacted by the workshop we gave and will actually pursue a job in a STEM field.
5. Overall, summarize how your project was completed and how you think it went.
Our project began by first contacting various groups on whether or not they would be open to hosting a GEMS event where we could do a workshop. A local Girls Scouts troop responded and we began to work with them on a curriculum that would allow the girls to earn a badge and something that the girls would have fun with. Then, my partner and I researched materials and topics online to create the curriculum. We bought the materials and held the workshop at one of the Girls Scouts meetings. I think that the event went really well because the girls really liked the experiments that we did with them, and they learned a lot. I think they enjoyed having guest speakers, and I felt that we really made a positive impact on how they viewed science. I think by showing the girls that women can do science and that science is not something that is intimidating or boring, we showed the girls that it’s something that they can do, and something that they can excel at.
6. How was the Karma for Cara microgrant helpful in the completion of your project?
The microgrant was really helpful in buying the necessary science materials to teach the girls. Without the money it would have been tough to buy enough materials for everyone. One of my mission goals is to make a science education accessible to everyone regardless of their financial background, and being able to make our project free for the girls alleviated financial stress of any kind. I believe that this allowed us to reach girls that otherwise would not have attended our event.