By Noah Alatza
Westfield High School senior Bridget Arnold will lead a female STEM initiative from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 2 at the Westfield Intermediate School gym, 326 W. Main St.
This is the fourth year for the hands-on STEM program, which introduces young girls to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The initiative focuses on fifth- and sixth-grade girls at WIS.
The event features demonstrations and other presentations by high school students that showcase different ways in which STEM can be applied to everyday life.
Arnold said much of the STEM initiative has been changed this year to create an open-house atmosphere.
“We are not doing individual stations anymore, and this will be much more of an open-house event,” said Arnold, who is co-directing the event. “On top of that, the booths we are having will be more tailored towards girls who are presenting instead of assigning them to a particular booth.”
The STEM program now includes art, which incorporates the elements of graphic and web design among computer science.
WHS alum Emmalee Severson started the program four years ago as a way to incorporate STEM initiatives into younger students’ curriculum.
A new makerspace, known as the Idea Farm, was established at the high school two years ago within the learning center.
“We are trying to show the progression from high school to college to their adult career,” Arnold said. “As far as curriculum goes, we are seeing a lot more about this in the media and talking about why we need more women in STEM.”
Arnold said WHS is offering a Girls in Stem Club. A call-out meeting is still being planned with the help of WWS innovation specialist Joel Bruns.
“We want to continue the female STEM Initiative that former students have laid the groundwork for,” Arnold said.