How I Started a Women-in-STEM Club at Stony Brook School

New York, N.Y. Two years ago, my friends and I started the Women in STEM Club at my school. We wanted to cultivate STEM interest in younger girls in our community. As we were brainstorming about ways that we could achieve this goal, a conversation with my physics teacher’s daughter inspired me.

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Photo: The Stewardship Report.

She talked about how she loved her science fair project and wished to do something similar. “Why don’t we offer girls this opportunity?” I suggested to the rest of the club. We started teaching monthly free STEM lessons to a group of faculty kids.

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The author (middle) speaks at the Women in STEM Club.
Photo: The Stewardship Report.

We have successfully held five faculty kids lessons on our campus. Girls in grades 2-5 learned a key skill in science by extracting DNA from a strawberry and making peppermint lip balm, built a strong architectural structure out of popsicle sticks to acquire knowledge in engineering, finished drawing a pattern without lifting up the pen in Math, as well as simple cryptography and binary imagery in Technology.

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Photo: The Stewardship Report.

The children have embarked on their life-long STEM journey through hands-on activities, immersing themselves in the subjects to satisfy current curiosity and generate much more for the future. They all enjoyed the class and were extremely eager to attend subsequent sessions.

One day after our engineering session, one of the girls came up to me, with hopeful eyes, shining, and asked me, “Tina, when are we meeting again? I like engineering!” I reached my hand out and patted on her head. Her eyes filled with excitement. She had a big smile on her face. As I saw her laugh, I began to smile too.

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Photo: The Stewardship Report.

The smiles that we received from the kids made my partner and me decide to expand it to the local community so that more girls can participate in the STEM lessons we provide. I hope girls will be inspired to step into the STEM field from our lessons.

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Yewei "Tina" Yu
A senior at The Stony Brook School and a member of the J. Luce Foundation's New York Global Leaders Leo Club, Yewei "Tina" Yu is from Beijing, China. She has been named J. Luce Leader 2019 and accepted for the Luce Leadership Experience Jamaica 2019 with Caribbean Maritime University and Marietta College. Follow her on Twitter @yuyewei_tina.

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