Charity Spotlight: Science Club for Girls
April 6, 2023:
We are so fortunate to learn about many wonderful local organizations through discussions with our clients and colleagues. Sometimes we learn about these by assisting clients with grants through their foundations or donor advised funds, and other times we learn about a true connection someone has with an organization they feel passionate about, committing their time to volunteering and raising awareness. We recently had the pleasure of learning more about an organization with the mission of bringing free educational resources to girls and gender-expansive students. The organization is called Science Club for Girls, and it is based locally right in Cambridge, MA. With the organization operating for over 28 years, we were surprised to have just recently learned about the wonderful work they do to introduce STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and promote STEM careers to young women.
Founded in 1994, Science Club for Girls is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that addresses inequities in STEM around race, gender, and socioeconomics. With women making up less than 29% of the STEM workforce — and Black and Hispanic women at less than 4% — Science Club for Girls addresses a critical need, offering a continuum of engaging STEM activities for K-8 girls and gender-expansive youth, junior mentoring and leadership experiences for high school participants, and adult mentoring and role modeling by volunteers studying STEM disciplines in higher education and working in STEM careers.
The clubs are offered to students free of charge in an effort to remove any barriers to access. The program has proven success in its mission to foster excitement, confidence, and literacy in STEM with 90% of participating high school juniors and seniors continuing to college in the last 13 years, and 55% of said participants choosing a major in STEM. In addition to traditional afterschool programs, SCFG offers virtual science clubs co-led by junior mentors, a summer rocketry camp, and a fun interactive tv show, SCFGLive!.
In April of 2020, Science Club for Girls began hosting the live science show to reach even more girls and gender-expansive youth with fun, accessible science lessons as schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since their first show on ‘The Water Cycle’, they’ve aired over 70 episodes on topics ranging from chemical explosions to the science of smell. During the shows adult and junior mentors experiment, take virtual field trips, and meet with a variety of scientists. All episodes can be found on the Science Club for Girls website, and those local to Lowell, Lawrence, Somerville, Cambridge, Boston, Springfield, Worcester, and Brookline can view episodes on airing on local cable stations as well.
If you are interested in becoming involved in their mission to support girls in STEM, there are several mentoring, volunteering, and partnership opportunities. Learn more at scienceclubforgirls.org.