Eureka! is a five-year journey for teenage girls, preparing them to participate and excel in cutting-edge, dynamic STEM careers. The girls spend four weeks in intensive STEM programs either at UMass Amherst or through internships, field trips, and classes taught by local professionals. The Eureka! program has successfully served roughly 300 teenagers, while addressing the gender gap in STEM career fields.
Great strides are being made globally, but women only make up 28% of the workforce in STEM careers today. Many girls tend to lose confidence in math and science-related subjects during their middle school years. Eureka! aims to intercept the girls at that critical time to help them build the confidence to pursue higher levels of math and science. With the guidance of staff and mentors, the girls come out of the Eureka! program successfully completing college applications and enrollment in four-year colleges and universities.
“The purpose of Eureka! has always been to engage the youth we serve in educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, and to highlight the diverse and thought-provoking careers those fields can lead to”, said Girls Inc. of the Valley’s Executive Director, Suzanne Parker. “The return of Eureka-thon is exciting for many reasons, but mainly for the scholars to present all they have learned through the summer program to their families and loved ones. The buzz in the room is energizing!”
Girls Inc. of the Valley intends to inspire all girls to see that science is all around them and to encourage them to hone in on their leadership skills and build their confidence, not just as students, but as community members and in their personal lives. They’ll continue to fight for a future where girls are not stereotyped and where opportunities exist for them to become economically independent.