The Brightside: Girls STEM program
LEWES, Del. – It’s a workshop that’s empowering high school girls in Sussex County giving them hands on experience into the world of technology.
A group of teens is diving into the endless possibilities that technology brings.
“Not just feed their minds, their souls, but their brains and their intelligence and their opportunity to expand their minds and creativity,” explains Rob Bentley, founder of Cyber Streets and curator for the girls STEM workshop.
It’s a workshop that’s bringing technology and opportunity to girls in Sussex County. A STEM program that’s taking action on ideas and turning them into reality.
“We’ve been exploring all sorts of different areas of STEM so while we’re exploring some engineering type related things such as 3-D printing. We’ve also gone to cyber security places we’re learned about cyber security,” explains Brooke Hudson, 16-year-old workshop participant.
These girls are getting hands on experience into the world of technology. A glimpse into the STEM field, a career path that right now is struggling to recruit talent, especially women in the area.
“People would graduate from DelTech or University of Delaware with this computer science degrees and then move on to Philly or D.C. to work in the STEM fields and there’s been sort of a vacuum in Delaware and in Sussex County in particular,” Lewes Public Library Director Lea Rosell.
This program is trying to change that, to get the local community and high school students excited just with a keyboard and a screen. To show them how to use it as a tool and it seems to be working.
“I’m really interested in cyber security we went to the high tech crimes unit and that sounds like a very interesting kind of work and I’ve always kind of liked forensics and I’ve always liked computers so it seems like a great combination of both,” explains Brooke.
It’s a workshop that’s opening their minds to the STEM opportunities right in their own backyard from women who are working in the STEM field everyday.
“To have strong women who are STEM professionals come in here and say hey ‘this is what I do every day and you can do it’ I think that there is just such a value to that,” adds Rosell.
Bentley adds, “We’re literally here to actually tie people together in communities through the power of the internet and technology.”
And even though this workshop was made possible through local grants, the hope is this program is only the beginning.
“I think just maintaining and spreading the word and getting more and more girls interested in participating is sort of the key to this whole thing, so its like knowledge is power like let’s show them what there is.”