In SMART Girls Club, girls in 4th through 12th grade, explore science and math fields and activities in a supportive environment, after school. Girls are encouraged to view learning as a lifelong pursuit, especially around science, technology, engineering, and math areas.
They are encouraged to “reach for the stars” in these disciplines and given additional tools to do just that! Girls develop skills in collaboration, obtaining positive feedback, seeing real-life contexts to apply their knowledge and test their theories.
They enjoy open-ended activities and investigations, and most importantly, learn to think critically and trust their own reasoning to persist and find the answers. Projects and activities are tied to concepts the girls are learning in school, and we seek to make the material personally relevant to each girl. SMART Girls Club facilitators are undergraduate or graduate-level scientists who share their studies and personal experiences.
Preparing young people for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers is critical for America’s economic future.
Workforce projections for 2018 by the U.S. Department of Labor show that nine of the 10 fastest-growing occupations that require at least a bachelor’s degree will require significant scientific or mathematical training. Girls today may miss out on the opportunity to be apart of these careers. Women continue to be underrepresented in many STEM fields, including engineering and physics. STEM careers are the highest growing fields and have the most potential for increased income. Increasing the number of women in STEM fields is important, because in 2009, according to the US Census, women, working full time and year around, make $30,562, while men make $39,516. So for every $1.00 men make women make $0.77. If more women are involved in STEM fields, the disparity in earnings will decrease.