STEM Education for Everyone
In March of 2017, I found myself standing in a booth at South by Southwest Create, wearing a home-built LED princess dress, surrounded by children… and holding a hand drill. It was step one in my Youtube Channel’s #PrincessesWithPowerTools project, and an experiment with the exact kind of dynamic, interactive education that we think could really change engineering for the better. Over the course of just three days, our little booth taught over 1,200 kids – from 2 years old to 22 years old – how to use a power drill.
For the first time in my STEAM education career, more than half of those kids were young girls. It’s about time we teach our children that engineering and femininity are not mutually exclusive. More so, it’s time to teach that engineering isn’t exclusive to anyone of ANY background. From a young age, girls and minority students are subconsciously pressured away from engineering. Women are they are told that future engineers are tomboys, not princesses. Minority students must endure pervasive racial intelligence bias, starting as early as kindergarten. But it doesn’t need to be this way.
We can encourage girls not to let societal pressure change who they want to be. We can actively engage students of all backgrounds while providing them with connections to critical resources and tools. We can even inspire the next generation of makers, tinkerers, and future inventors – all by sharing our own experiences and expertise.
To make all of this possible, we need support. From resources and discounts to make learning STEAM at home easier, to commitments from large institutions to assist education in low income areas, to even the smallest donations from local businesses – every piece is a step forward in beginning an active dialog and exchange of support to enhance education for everyone.
Beauty and the Bolt, centered on the idea that Brilliant is Beautiful, aims to make learning engineering easy, inexpensive, and accessible for anyone. Our entire team is dedicated to the idea that both brilliance and beauty take thousands of forms, and that everyone should be given the resources, training, and knowledge to show the world their dreams. So let’s change the face of STEM, together.