The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Prince William County Chapter Inc., in collaboration with the Society of Women Engineers, hosted a workshop. The goal is to inspire and expose young girls, grades sixth through eighth, to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
During the “Girls Go To Techbridge” workshop, the young ladies had an opportunity to meet various volunteer engineers from the D.C., Va. and Baltimore region. “This STEM program is one of our signature programs and it was very very receptive and interactive,” Dr. Alice H. Howard, president and organizer of the organization, told the AFRO. The event took place at Potomac Middle School and included 50 girls from various middle schools in Prince William County, including Potomac, Graham Park, and Saunders Middle Schools. The girls participated in activities, including a WindPower Crank, which challenged the girls to build a wind-powered crank to transport food from low to high ground. Another activity related to clean water, teaching the girls to use different elements – sand, gravel and fabrics – to filter dirty water for drinking. Other activities included Give Me Shelter and Car to Rescue and Tune in Techbridge.
The girls learned about different engineering careers through hands on experiences. According to the a press release, the young ladies were very knowledgeable and by the end of the day, several expressed an interest in being an engineer. “We really need to start STEM at the elementary level,” Howard said, explaining that starting early would give girls a strong foundation before they got to middle school.