On Wednesday mornings, sophomore Anagha Gouru teaches STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) club at Greenhill’s neighboring public school, George Herbert Walker Bush Elementary School. Her goal is to share her love of science and math by spreading the word about women in STEM.
After completing her Girl Scouts Silver Award project as a freshman, Anagha is now working to complete her Gold Award project. For her project, Anagha decided to start a STEM club at the Bush Elementary School.
“I have always had a love of STEM,” said Anagha. “Math and science have always been my favorite classes. I decided I wanted to affect younger girls and that they should also have the same experience I had to share a love of math and science.”
Women’s role in STEM fields has been a hot topic in the 21stcentury. Women around the world have worked together to make equal opportunity in STEM a priority. Foundations like the Association for Women in Science, which was formed with the goal of broadening participation, creating equitable workspaces, generating innovation and entrepreneurship and funding STEM research.
In the spirit of the Women in STEM movement, Feb. 11 is the International Day for Women and Girls in Science. International Day for Women and Girls in Science is dedicated to the global partnership for the investment in women and girls in the science field to cultivate green growth. Anagha continues this movement by making changes to her club’s curriculum to increase interest on the Bush Elementary campus.
“I like to give them examples of cool things that women in STEM have done,” said Anagha. “I also like to mix my experiments up with things that they would like, for example, an explosion.”
Anagha’s STEM club members make slime and paint to learn about chemical reactions. Anagha believes that it is important to use the school as a platform to educate young girls about STEM. She feels that schools contribute to the opportunity gap because not enough STEM engagement opportunities are offered for girls.
“I believe especially for young girls in STEM, right now, they have had an education leading toward arts and humanities before they entered STEM,” said Anagha. “I think that combining something they love already and something that is new to them is the best way to teach [STEM].”
Women around the world have come together to increase awareness and change the field of STEM. Anagha has taken the first step to involve elementary-age girls in her community.
“My hope from this club is to increase their love of STEM and hopefully they will make an impact on the world,” said Anagha. “In the beginning, I asked them what their favorite subjects were. A lot of them said reading and history. I hope that by the end of this club, math and science will become their favorite subjects too.”
Graphic by Brookings Institution