MIDDLE RIVER — Eastern Technical High School hosted a Girls in STEM Night event, inviting female students in third to eighth grade to participate in hands-on workshops involving chemistry, environmental science, electronics and programming.
Kimberly Burton-Regulski, Mathematics Department Chairman at Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), says school officials created the event because there are not enough girls involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) courses.
“We see significantly that girls are not involved in STEM courses as much as boys,” Burton-Regulski said.
Female students from all over Baltimore County were welcomed to the STEM event, even people traveled from Harford County to participate in the activities.
This is the third year that BCPS has hosted the Girls in STEM Night event, and Burton-Regulski says she’s starting to see a more girls registered in BCPS engineering and computer science programs.
Girls in STEM event planners partnered with Cromwell Valley Elementary to do a book club and they featured the novel “Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women who Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space,” and they attended the Girls in STEM Night event.
That year, the science STEM fair that they orchestrated had an enormous amount of girl groups applying for the STEM fair.
“So, it’s definitely making a difference,” Burton-Regulski said. “We’re definitely seeing an impact. The amount of women we are seeing in these spaces are changing. It’s starting to increase.”
Carney resident Meagan Costantino says she brought her now first and third grader to last years STEM even and it was “phenomenal.”
“They’re seeing girls that looked like them and these girls are interested in the same career paths,” Constantino said. “More girl power.”
Eastern Technical High School tenth grader Mia Snyder majors is engineering and volunteered to assist with the STEM event.
Snyder realized her interest in STEM when she was in sixth grade after being introduced to different STEM activities.
“I feels there are more girls in STEM programs than there was a few years ago,” Snyder said.
Charles Gaff traveled from the Perry Hall area to bring his seven year old daughter, Hannah, to participate in STEM activities. Gaff’s other daughter, Rachel, is a STEM student at Eastern Tech and volunteered to help at the event.
Starting in the late 1990s, Charles studied technology and turned it into a career that he works in today.
“I have seen the lack of women in technology from beginning,” Charles said. “They made up less than ten percent of technology space and just STEM in general.”
Charles is happy that his daughters have shown interest in STEM and encourages them to follow their dreams.
“I’m good at engineering,” Hannah said. “I love building stuff and science, sometimes is good for me. Technology, no way. But, yeah. I love math.”
More women need to be in STEM because they give a different perspective, said Burton-Regulski.
“When designs are being created or there’s a problem solving task, a female perspective brings a different point-of-view,” Burton-Regulski said. “Thats important.”