Maker Girls is an extracurricular enrichment program established for the purpose of exposing girls ages 5-11 to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Maker Girls is all about creating valuable, purposeful and FUN exposure to the STEM fields.
Maker Girls are girls who...
… make things.
There is a need for girls to have greater exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subject materials.
In elementary school, 74% of girls say they are interested in math and science classes. But women only make up about 26% of STEM workers. 33% of women who work in STEM fields earn on average 33% more than their female counterparts in other fields.(1)
There are wonderful organizations that are advancing the progress of women in STEM fields. Many of these organizations are wonderful non-profits that bring attention to this need that not only the market has for women in STEM fields, but also for women to embrace these careers.
The problem is that the majority of these programs begin at middle and high school levels. THIS IS TOO LATE.
Girls need to have exposure to science and technology from early childhood. Girls have a deep curiosity for the world they live in and it starts from the day they are born. We can't wait until they're in middle school, high school, or college to hope they fall into the STEM fields. The challenge is that many of these fields are still perceived as ‘boy things’. Girls want to be with girls. Girls need to have peers who are passionate about the things they are. Without the opportunity to have these exchanges from a young age, they are missing the chance to build relationships in these fields with their peers and with women as mentors.
Learning the skills offered in Maker Girls classes, girls will have a foundation that will be beneficial to them in any career they choose. Girls will gain:
- the ability to problem solve
- critical thinking skills
- self-starting skills
- innovation and imagination
Girls need a foundation in ‘maker’ fields: science, technology, design, math, engineering, architecture, and so on.
And... it'll be fun! We promise lots of giggles along the way!
Maker Girls Founder
Michelle Loretta, Director of Maker Girls
I am the daughter of an engineer. Growing up, my dad always had experiments for me and my brother to conduct. I played with Legos and Tinker toys. We talked about physics and chemistry at the dinner table. My dad’s 3-car garage was a treasure trove of inventions (and never housed a car.)
Although, I was born an entrepreneur (you can read about my other business here)... I know how privileged this upbringing was. All of this science and engineering was part of my every day life! What a world! My life has been made better by all of this problem solving, analysis, innovation.
Now, as the mother of a very inquisitive 7-year-old girl, I want her to have this life. I want her to see how powerful these skills are. I want her to see how STEM fields offer exciting and fulfilling careers. And, should she choose another field as her career, so be it. This will only make her stronger. I want her to be a strong citizen of the world we live in.
I want this for ALL girls. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.
Our Board of Advisors
We are honored to have the following experts as advisors to Maker Girls. We benefit greatly from their insight.
Associate Dean, Graduate Division - University of California Riverside
John Babbage Chair in Environmental Engineering
Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Sharon Walker is a professor of chemical and environmental engineering at UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering. Her research focuses on water quality, particularly the fate and transport of bacteria and nanoparticles in water. Walker, who received her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Yale University, is a faculty advisor to the UC Riverside Society of Women Engineers. The group leads a variety of outreach events to children (primarily girls) including tours of UCR and laboratories, tutoring, and volunteering in local schools
She has been actively involved with the San Gorgonio Girl Scouts over the past ten years on a variety of programs, notably the annual Bourns Engineering Day and the Minds for Design Program (summer camp for girls to learn about engineering). In 2008, Sharon was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Scouts in recognition of her ongoing efforts teaching girls about STEM.
Author of Doable: The Girl's Guide to Accomplishing Just About Anything,
Chill: Stress Reducing Technique for a More Balanced, Peaceful You, and
In Their Shoes: Extraordinary Women Describe Their Amazing Careers
A bestselling author, sought-after speaker, and life coach, Debbie Reber is passionate about giving girls practical tools to help them rock their lives. Debbie spent the first years of her career as a TV and video producer with CARE, UNICEF, and Nickelodeon, where she created PSAs, documentaries, and programming that educated children and young people around the world. As a young adult authority, Debbie is frequently interviewed about teen issues and speaks about things like career planning, goal setting, media literacy, self-esteem, and empowerment. She is the founding editor-in-chief for Heart of Gold, an online destination for teen girls passionate about entrepreneurship, social activism, and volunteerism, and consults for clients such as the Girl Scouts of America, the Disney Channel, McGraw Hill, Brain Quest, Razorfish, Kaplan, and Speakaboos.
Debbie lives in Amsterdam where she currently lives with her husband Derin, homeschools her nine-year-old son Asher, and serves as lap-of-choice for her mischievous cat Alex. You can learn more about her here.
The People Who Make this Valuable and Purposeful
Christina Williamson, Curriculum Developer
Christina Williamson holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Masters of Education. As a teacher she has led students to learn and explore such topics as: Dimensional Analysis, Atomic Theory, The Periodic Table of the Elements, Chemical Equations, Bonding, Polarity, Nuclear Chemistry, Acid/Base Theory, Organic Chemistry, Oxidation-Reduction Reactions, and Chemical Kinetics. Christina brings a fresh approach to Maker Girls and, as one of the only females in her college science classes, a personal passion for seeing girls interested in STEM fields. Christina was the Rochester News 8 Golden Apple Award winner in 2010 for excellence as a 7th grade science teacher.
Christina lives in Rochester, New York, and is pursuing a doctorate from Rochester University.
Cherie Ann Rodriguez, Miami Instructor – Winter 2015
Cherie is a senior at Florida International University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. She has worked as a high school math tutor and as an executive intern at the Miami Dade Mayor’s Office. Cherie is an active participant in environmental competitions, engineering expos, and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society.
Cherie lives in Miami, Florida and will be pursuing her Master's Degree in the Fall.