STEMpowered is the brainchild of co-founders Madeline Palmer, Erika Brockberg and McKenzie Taylor. Born out of a shared passion for science, math and encouraging young women, the long time friends joined forces to found STEMpowered in 2013.
Why is STEMpowered important for Detroit?
Women are underrepresented throughout the STEM fields. According to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee1, only 14% of engineers in the United States are female. Furthermore, data provided from studies out of the University of Wisconsin2 have highlighted the importance of building confidence in girls from an early age in math and science. Time and time again it has been documented that young girls are no less competent than their male counterparts in these subjects, but they are dramatically less confident. Developing this confidence in school-aged girls is critical to closing the gender gap, not only in the job market, but in high school and college classrooms.
While the gender gap exists across varying cultures and socioeconomic classes, the current circumstances in Detroit only serve to exacerbate the challenges that young learners face.
Our goal at STEMpowered is to provide a camp for young residents to thrive, learn and explore, while acknowledging and addressing the unique challenges present for each camper.
About our Founding Directors
Never afraid to get a little dirty or to compete with their brothers, they each became interested in math and science at a young age. They fostered their love of math and science throughout their lives, whether it was playing with LEGOs or exploring nature. Despite a supportive and enriching environment, they still faced their own challenges as women who thrived in these areas, and saw many peers lose their confidence and eventually, their interest in these fields.
Combining their love of math, science and education, they have set out to help young girls understand their own power and potential.
1: US Congress Joint Economic Committee (April 2012). STEM Education: Preparing for Jobs of the Future. < http://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a =Files.Serve&File_id=6aaa7e1f-9586-47be-82e7-326f47658320>
2: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2008, September 8). Tracking the Reasons Girls Avoid Math and Science. Science Daily.