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Chapel Hill STEM Project for 4th Grade Girls in Durham

The Chapel Hill STEM project, the planning of which began in the fall of 2006 will be a reality in the fall of 2008. Our committee will be hosting an after school STEM program for 4th grade girls at the Oak Grove Elementary School in Durham, NC. The program encompasses 10-12 presenters and 12 or more additional volunteers as aides. Our first program will be held 2 days a week for six weeks. On May 22, we will roll out our plan to the parents and girls attending a parents night at the Oak Grove School.

To get to this point, the Chapel Hill branch had to find (1) a school where the program could be held, (2) women in different STEM fields to be presenters, (3) women from our branch who would serve as volunteer aides (4) have all presenters and volunteers register and be screened for the Durham Public Schools (DPS) and (5) have a committee to organize the program for a balanced presentation of STEM fields.

When the school year begins in the fall of 2008, there will be registration for this program that will not have any additional cost to the girls that attend the after school program at the Oak Grove Elementary School. The demographics of the school is 85 % African-American, 10 % Hispanic and 5% other. If this program is successful, we plan to sponsor a second session in the spring, 2009 for 4th grade girls. Later, this program may become a model for other schools in North Carolina.The program will encompass both presentations by women in different STEM fields and projects to draw the girls into considering STEM fields for their eventual career. The girls will both learn that they can do this work and will learn how they can get to their goal of a STEM career.