Despite concerted efforts for nearly two decades to attract girls and women to the fields of engineering and computing, the numbers haven’t improved. In fact, they’re getting worse. The number of women in computing has fallen from 35% in 1990 to just 26% in 2015, according to a 2015 study by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) - Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing.
The American Association of University Women says just 12% of today’s engineers are women, and in less than 10 years, the United States will need 1.7 million more engineers and computer scientists.
Through Feb. 22, Golden Library in connection with Colorado School of Mines is hosting a STEM Girls Competition. Jefferson County girls in grades 5 through 8 are encouraged think about how they can build a better world and challenge their brains in the process.
Creations should be an original design related to energy and environment, health and nutrition, or biomedical. Participants should include a hypothesis and a visual aid of their concepts – a video, tri-fold display, poster, model or anything that best conveys your innovation. Girls can work individually or in groups of four or less.
On Wednesday, February 22, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., girls will share their projects at the Golden Library, and students from Colorado School of Mines’ outreach program designed for girls (DECTech Students) will judge them. Winners will be honored at the International Women’s Day Luncheon, 10 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. on March 8 at the Denver Marriott West and all contestants will receive a certificate of participation.
Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL) offers frequent STEM and STEAM programming at several of its locations. Golden Library offers STEM Girls at 4 p.m. on select Mondays, providing girl an open and nonjudgmental place to play and learn. The events are led by Bell Middle School’s Girls in iSTEM Club.
Columbine Library offers S.T.E.A.M. Power programs. These program themes change each month to encourage kids ages 7 and up to explore, enhance education and also make the occasional mess.
For contest rules, visit jeffcolibrary.org/events or contact Stephanie Douglas at the Golden Library or call 303-235-5275.