To celebrate the trailblazing contributions to the world by women in STEM fields this month, KID Museum, a pioneering experiential museum and educational makerspace, is launching Maker Girls, a series of hands-on, invention-based workshops for 4th-8th grade girls. A live, interactive virtual event on Thursday, March 25 from 4-5 PM ET will kick off the program, in partnership with AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors program, with a diverse set of top female STEM leaders — from a statistician featured in the book “Wonder Women of Science” and a biomechanical engineer studying 3D sports movement, to a cancer immunologist and the college-student founder of Makers for COVID-19. The event will feature a “Shark Tank”-style pitch event and a virtual tour of KID Museum’s new online Maker Playground.
“With Women’s History Month celebrating those who have challenged gender stereotypes and left a lasting legacy, Maker Girls is empowering the next generation of female leaders with maker skills, experiences and mindsets to invent the future,” said Cara Lesser, the Founder and Executive Director of KID Museum. “Lyda Hill Philanthropy and AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors exemplify positive female professional role models in STEM for young girls. Partnering with them brings our commitment to girls to life, and challenges girls to be active makers while they interact with and solve problems with successful women STEM leaders.”
Hosted by Dr. Corinna Lathan, a neuroscientist, technology pioneer, social advocate, and IF/THEN Ambassador, along with 11-year-old maker Zuri Davis, the live, virtual event will be highly interactive. Girls will hear from IF/THEN Ambassadors who will share examples of “How I Failed” and the lessons they learned; girls will experience new Maker Playground activities; and girls will serve as advisors to KID Museum in helping shape the direction of deeper dive workshops to be offered later this spring.
In a “Shark Tank” style pitch showcasing a range of STEM-based activities, girls will serve as the ultimate decision-makers, investigating topics and voting for those they’d like to see turned into the workshops they can join later in the spring.
- Davina Durgana – Award-winning international human rights statistician who has developed leading global models to assess vulnerability to modern slavery. She was a Forbes Top 30 Under 30 in Science (2017), and is featured in the children’s book, “Wonder Women of Science: Twelve Amazing STEM Geniuses Who Are Currently Rocking the World.”
- Danielle Twum – Cancer immunologist hailing from Ghana who blends scientific knowledge with social media influence to ignite interest in STEM careers for young people, especially minorities.
- Sarah Wilson – Mechanical engineer and former professional freeride skier who has made a career of “crashing STEM into her hobbies,” most recently using wearable technologies to measure athlete movements in 3D.
- Karina Popovich – 21-year-old Head of Education and Policy at Women in 3D Printing, Founder of Makers for COVID-19, Cornell University student, KPMG Future Leader 2019, Amazon Future Engineer 2019 and Technovation Regional Pitch Competition Winner.
The live, no-cost, interactive virtual Maker Girls workshops offer 4th through 8th grade girls the chance to join in hands-on, invention-based challenges covering topics such as game design, robotics, space exploration, cybersecurity, and science experiments.
Each of the three workshops taking place in April and May is capped at 24 students to encourage side-by-side interaction with the Ambassadors, whose backgrounds range from engineering and astrophysics to computer programming and biology. Together, the Ambassadors and students will brainstorm, design, and prototype solutions to real-world, STEM-inspired challenges.
Maker Playground is designed to engage youth and families in experiences and activities inspired by real-life women inventors, engineers, and scientists; and then use maker skills and concepts to experiment, invent, and create something on their own. Concepts explore the “art of STEM,” “robot explorers,” “sports and STEM,” “animal allies,” and “games for good,” with activities for kids to prototype a technology that improves athletic performance, create a digital 3D model of a robot that explores the unknown, design a game, and more.
About KID Museum:
KID Museum is the region’s pioneering experiential museum and educational makerspace. They foster the “Mind of a Maker” and empower the next generation with the skills to invent the future. Through hands-on programs, they challenge young people to be active makers, building agency, confidence, and creative problem-solving skills. They design and deliver programs across the full continuum of learning for kids in pre-k through middle school in partnership with educators and schools. Weekend onsite programs, community events, and live, virtual sessions encourage families to learn and explore together. They are part of a growing movement to remake education for every young person, putting them in the driver’s seat of their learning and trusting them to be agents of change.