The F.E.M.M.E.S. Explore Winter Capstone events this year were hour-long virtual sessions held every Saturday from 11 am to 12 pm from March 20th to April 17th, for 4th to 6th graders. It exposed students to various STEM fields by performing interactive, hands-on activities and give them an opportunity to interact with women+ pursuing STEM degrees and careers in college. Specifically, the event is designed to support girls+ in developing their confidence and interest in STEM fields but, like all F.E.M.M.E.S. activities, is open to students of all genders. Materials for all activities are provided for free! Activity kits with instructions are also available for students who cannot participate virtually. Registration is now closed.
Check-in at the Chemistry Building, bright and early!
Through our Explore Capstone events, F.E.M.M.E.S. aims to provide an exciting, hands-on STEM education experience for girls in 4th-6th grade from schools across southeast Michigan, in the hopes that they will be encouraged to further explore their potential in these fields. We have strategically chosen to target grades 4-6 based on data published in a 2003 issue of the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, that demonstrated that age nine (grade 4) is the time period where girls begin to fall behind boys in terms of achievement and enthusiasm in STEM. F.E.M.M.E.S. is entirely volunteer-based and is to be free for all participants. The existing disparities in the sciences underscore the need for outreach programs to help engage young women. Many intervention programs are directed towards high school students—but girls may find themselves turned away from the sciences at a much earlier age. Consequently, students who have the potential to succeed in these fields may be wholly unaware of it.
F.E.M.M.E.S. Explore Capstone is a great way for girls to make new friends. Our grouping strategy was developed to encourage all participants to get the most out of their experiences. We group girls of the same grade together, but do try to make sure that each group consists of girls from different schools. Although this means that girls may not be grouped with their friends from school, it often abrogates distractions and allows everyone involved to have a better overall experience. There is so much to be learned from those who have different experiences, and we aim to maximize learning and fun with each event that we hold.