On Saturday, 12 October 2013, girls from the ages of 9 to 13 were invited to an all-day science day to encourage their studies and future careers in STEM subjects. October 12th marked the launch of greenlight for girls’ activities in Greece.
Hosted by the Campion School located in the Pallini area, girls from near-by schools, both public and private, were invited to participate. Melissa Rancourt, Founder of greenlight for girls and an engineer & entrepreneur, introduced the event to the sixty girls in attendance. “These young girls are our future,” says Ms. Rancourt, “already at this young age, they demonstrate the drive and energy to pursue their dreams and the great potential to be a contributor to the science and technological advances that will only continue to be a part of our everyday lives.” She continues, “Science is everywhere and this is what we wish to demonstrate.”
The greenlight for girls day consisted of several hands-on, fun workshops showing the various facets of science – from the linkage of art and mathematics, the computer programming skills to animate drawings and to create mobile phone apps, the different engineering professions, the everyday science we find in the kitchen, how to make lightning and discovering the DNA of a banana.
Our survey results immediately following the event demonstrated that 93% of the participants wish to continue their studies in math and science. This significant result helps to identify the potential of this type of event to encourage children. More than 25% of the children admitted to feeling anxious about math and science prior to the day – and during the event, several comments were often heard about feeling uncertain about understanding – or even liking – math and science. Ms. Rancourt states,“It is important to engage and encourage everyone, girls and boys – and adults, to learn basic skills in math and science as this can be a part of any future career. In greenlight for girls, we work with both girls and boys in various activities. This day is one event designed for girls – and we hope that by doing so, we can change the statistics we see of the number of women who take up STEM-related careers. Today’s results give us great hope. There is much more we can do – but this is an important beginning.”