MABE’s Jessie Rogers Zeanah Faculty Fellow Stephanie TerMaath received a Giving Circle Grant from UT’S Alliance of Women Philanthropists to fund SuSTEMability, an after school Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program for elementary school girls at socio-economically disadvantaged schools.
The ten-week program will be piloted this fall with twenty girls in fourth and fifth grades at Bowers Elementary School in Harriman.
The students will complete an engineering project as well as participate in stand-alone sessions about college preparation and STEM fields.
For the project, the students will extrude filament from water bottles, which they will then use to 3D print an airplane that they will design in teams. The teams will test their airplanes in a portable wind tunnel to evaluate flight characteristics. During the last week of the program, the students will present a poster and model their airplanes.
“This project will not only teach them technical skills in a wide variety of STEM fields, but also teach them leadership, how to work in teams, and how to present and evaluate their work,” said TerMaath.
Women graduate students from UT’s WiSTAR3 (Women in STEM Advancing Readiness, Retention, and Research) organization will be leading the program, and serve as women role models and mentors who will hopefully inspire the girls to pursue STEM fields.
TerMaath hopes to expand the program to other schools in the future.
The UT Alliance of Women Philanthropists Giving Circle Grants are given annually to fund innovative projects and programs throughout the UT System that are in alignment with their mission to educate, empower, and inspire women to be philanthropic leaders.