Girls get involved with STEM for career possibilities

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Women’s History Month extended to the younger generation in March as girls abounded in princess crowns and capes, building catapults and engineering walls recently at the Gerrity Memorial Library. 

The night was intended to bring awareness for young girls to see what career possibilities are available. “With our STEM outreach program, we want them to get individualized skills in the these fields and have the girls gather and get one-on-one attention and see that they can accomplish this on their own,” Library Supervisor Bridget Endsley said. 

The boys will follow this month with similar activities, but March’s focus was just on the girls. 

Seven-year-old Taryn Bryan, of Layton, thought it would be a boring evening, but after immersing herself in the activities, she changed her mind. “It is fun actually making stuff and then testing it,” Taryn said. 

Her father was impressed with the attention given to the girls relating to science, technology, engineering and math. 

“We need more girl empowerment because I think a lot of the emphasis is on boys here in Utah. You can’t find a lot of stuff for the girls, so coming to things like this broadens their horizons so they can see that there is more out there for them to do. They just have to know it is there,” Bryan said. 

It’s also why Capt. Nathan Boyce, of South Weber, brought his 7-year-old daughter to the event. “She’s actually very good at math, so I think anything she does along those lines, she’ll have a natural knack for it. Activities like this help her to experience different ideas as she sees new concepts of how to apply things,” Boyce said. 

Over in the wall-making area were two 12-year-old volunteers helping the girls build structures with marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti noodles, though several of the girls couldn’t resist creating their own marshmallow kabobs and popping them into their mouths. 

Twelve-year-old Kalie Clough has volunteered at the library for several of the STEM events. “It gives us a chance to help kids see that learning is fun,” Kalie said. 

Eight-year-old Faye-Lynn Youngmeyer, of Roy, said the activity was cool because she was hanging out with her friends and learning at the same time. “One of my favorite subjects in school is science because you can find out what’s going to happen when you make things,” Faye-Lynn said. 

Tracie Diamond, of Hill Air Force Base, brought her 6-year-old daughter specifically because of the STEM related activities. “She’s really interested in science, so I thought it would be a good way to get her to look into different things,” Diamond said. 

The Airmen’s Leadership School even got involved for several hours, painting and building the castle, which will sit in the library for the next couple of months.