50.4 F
Sunday, June 7, 2020

GEMS event aims to get more girls into science

Olivia Shawen paints a poster to be used as the background for a photo-booth at the GEMS Fair, Thursday, May 28. Shawen was one of the lead student coordinators who helped organize the event. // Photo by Kesia Lee
Olivia Shawen paints a poster to be used as the background for a photo-booth at the GEMS Fair, Thursday, May 28. Shawen was one of the lead student coordinators who helped organize the event. // Photo by Kesia Lee

Young women and girls are in the spotlight for all things technology at Western’s first Girls in Engineering, Math and Science Fair [GEMS] this Saturday, May 30.

At the event, former astronaut Wendy Lawrence and Bellingham veterinarian Wendy Zawoysky will be among those who present.

Andrea Frost, a computer science graduate who will present at the fair, said multiple Western clubs will hold info booths and robotics demonstrations to inspire a love for technology in more young girls.

Manager of Youth Programs Debbie Gibbons said the idea for the GEMS Fair has been on her mind for years after she noticed a decrease in the number of girls who choose science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] classes at Western.

Frost said this decrease derives from certain events at a young age.

“It starts when we are very young, with the pink clothes for girls with rainbows, butterflies and princesses,” Frost said in an email. “As early as fourth or fifth grade, school girls encounter the stereotype that ‘girls aren’t good at math,’ which is quite obviously false, yet those words still sink in.”

Frost said the ultimate goal of GEMS is to get girls interested in the sciences to diversify the field.

“In the coming years there will be 1.2 million tech jobs available and we need all people from all the various diverse groups in the world to be involved in creating appropriate solutions,” she said.

Gibbons said the attendees will get to see demonstrations of equipment they don’t have in their public schools, like electron microscopes and underwater remotely operate vehicle.

“College students can inspire younger students much more [than older persons can],” Gibbons said.

Junior Greg Murashige, a computer science major, thinks the GEMS Fair will be beneficial and could help change the environment of future STEM classes. Computer science is known to be a field consisting of mainly males, he said.

“It will make the classroom more diverse,” Murashige said.

Gibbons said the GEMS Fair wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Extended Education Program, members of student clubs and student employees that have worked together to create the event.

On Saturday, May 30, Western’s Youth Programs will host the GEMS Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.in the Academic Instructional CenterWest with check-in on the main floor of the building.

Families are required to sign up on the Youth Program’s website to register for the event.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Must Read

Resident advisers hold open forum with university officials to discuss concerns

Written by: Bram Briskorn and Questen Inghram Over 300 people packed into Arntzen Hall, room 100 as if it were...

Sports: Pros and cons of Seahawks’ NFL draft pick Malik McDowell

Why did the Seahawks go after a defensive tackle with their first selection in the 2017 NFL draft? Coming off...

Behind the systems: WWU Newman Center forced resignation of student employee after learning of same-sex partner

Student says she was told to break up with her girlfriend or quit her job

Latest News

State school students plan for fall quarter

As Western takes a hybrid approach to classes, the university considers social distancing measures, cleaning, and...

Fall quarter uncertainty affects registration decisions

A portrait of Raina Shaw // Courtesy of Raina Shaw By Emily Bishop How has...

Plays4Us prepared for unusual spring quarter shows

The Plays4Us logo advertising the 10 minute play festival held each quarter. // Graphic by Clara King By...

Snacking more while sheltering in place? You aren’t the only one

The chip aisle at Haggen in Fairhaven. // Photo by Makenna Marks By Makenna Marks

Local vigil, march for George Floyd draws hundreds, shows solidarity

By Olivia Hobson, Drew Jelinek and Kyle Tubbs A circle of listeners slowly gathered...

More Articles Like This