Education Matters: making STEM accessible to girls


An effort to increase the participation of women and minorities in the STEM fields is now underway in Fresno County.

Research shows girls do as well as boys in math and science early on, but they then begin to have less confidence around their work. Programs that build their confidence and offer support are making a difference.

The STEM girls conference targets students attending schools that may not be able to offer STEM programs. At Fairmont Elementary in Sanger Unified, Charlene Griesner’s Femineer’s Club is already making a difference.

“I just think they are unaware of what there is out there and what is electronics and technology what is robotics and how does it all work.”

Griesner also brings a group of young ladies to the annual STEM for girls conference put on by the Office of Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. Founder and CEO of Fly Sci™ Enterprise Dr. Knatokie Ford was this year’s keynote speaker.

“I would say find a problem or an issue or an area you are really excited about, interested in and then think about how you can use these tools like science and technology to go about addressing those problems.”

Dr. Ford told the girls not to be afraid to fail because that’s how you learn.

“It makes me love science more,” said student Alejandra Bejarano. “I’ve always wanted to be a scientist when I grow up and this is just helping that.”

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