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Two Companies Team Up and Inspire Underprivileged Girls into STEM


We’ve all heard the stereotype: science and engineering fields are kind of a “boys’ club” and that manufacturing jobs are “for men only.” It seems that STEM educators are having a hard time attracting young female students to pursue degrees in science and technology. But luckily, two companies are teaming up to help change those stereotypes.

The Seattle-based game developer FlowPlay is the creator of online virtual world games like VegasWorld and OurWorld. These games already have a following of more than 800,000 active users, 65 percent being female and 80 percent under the age of 18. And from now until January 5th, players can buy in-game items that will directly fund Girlstart, an Austin, Texas-based nonprofit on a mission to empower girls in science, technology, engineering, and math.

According to their website, Girlstart is especially focused on reaching girls who are economically disadvantaged, at risk of academic failure, or who come from a nonwhite background. “Girls who are the least likely to pursue STEM and who may have limited STEM learning resources at home,” Girlstart deputy director Julie Shannan told All girls need and deserve encouragement and enrichment in STEM, especially if we are going to address the gender imbalances in the STEM workforce.

The biggest barrier facing girls in pursuing STEM education and STEM careers is “a lack of encouragement to persist in [these] fields,” says Shannan. She says, girls who never get a chance to see that they can excel at STEM, and who don’t have strong female role models to follow, are highly unlikely to pursue a STEM education. Well, our blog is chock full of female role models that have shown that they can excel and succeed in science and technology fields.

That’s what makes this partnership with FlowPlay so inspiring, too. “Part of our philosophy is that girls can be true to who they are and pursue STEM interests, and OurWorld provides an environment that fosters that same passion for individuality and technology,” says Shannan. The organization shows young girls that they can be who they are and pursue their interests in STEM just as much as the boys can.

Shannan is optimistic about what the future holds for women and girls in STEM. STEM has become a bit of a national education priority and funding programs like Girlstart has gained greater interest over the past year.

Let’s wish Ms. Shannan and her organization good luck in the coming weeks, and a big thank you to FlowPlay as well, for helping out in this important goal for young girls. Hopefully, their efforts will bring in more young women into the STEM community and will help them realize their dreams of being the next scientific role models for future generations!

photo credit: Girlstart

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