Quarterly Update

Overview

 In this issue, you'll find updates about our pilot program in Nyanyano, Ghana, our Youth Program in Seattle, Washington, and an introduction to our new program, "Girls in STEM." To date, we've raised approximately $45,000 from over 200 donors but we are still working hard to raise an additional $20,000 in 2015.  

The Fieldhouse

We are excited to announce that we're on track to open the center at the end of May. After a successful trip in December, we broke ground December 29th on The Fieldhouse. The final plan worked out to 1700 square feet plus a covered outdoors area at a total cost of $55,000. There are six rooms: a large classroom, an office, a small classroom, a bathroom, a changing area, and a storage room. It's equipped with solar panels on the roof. At the end of March our partners, The Cheerful Hearts Foundation, hosted a sustainability summit at which all seven of the participating schools agreed to contribute monthly dues to The Fieldhouse in order to build up an emergency fund. We could not have done this without the extraordinary level of buy-in and support from our partners and the community of Nyanyano.

 

Seattle Youth Program

We've been busy here in Seattle too. In December of 2014, we teamed up with the education consultancy, Storytellers for Change, to develop a meaningful program for youth in our hometown. In February we launched the Youth Advisory Council, our first ever program for local high school aged youth. With this program we want to teach by working through real problems and projects as a group. So far, they have written a code of conduct for The Fieldhouse, developed plans for an awesome tutoring project, and are currently competing to win a grant to fund it. 

Right now we are competing for a $10,000 prize in the Kind Causes competition. Should we obtain the most votes and win, $5,000 will go directly towards the completion of our facility in Ghana, and $5,000 will be used to bring their ideas to fruition. This contest runs each month and you can vote each cycle. Please vote and share with your friends! You can vote up to four times.

Women in STEM WOrkshop

Beginning in February, the team of Tess Amen, Olivia Rogers, and Kafiya Arte set out to develop a 3-4 day workshop aimed at at creating a fun, engaging environment that involves hands on STEM application in an informal matter. This workshop aims to do more than hook young women on critical academic tracks relating to science. The Girls in STEM project seeks to encourage girls to continue education, and to set and pursue academic and professional goals despite traditional attitudes towards girls' ambitions and the severe gender gaps in STEM that still exist worldwide. Come Fall 2015, we hope to run this program at The Fieldhouse in Ghana and publish a "toolkit" so that others may administer this curriculum in a variety of settings. 

Starting at a young age, girls are often not exposed to the world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the same way that boys are. From the gender distinction between toys for children, like play toolsets for boys and mini kitchens for girls, we see an “unconscious bias” for boys to explore STEM while girls are sequestered to stereotyped gender roles (Huhman). As Eileen Pollack, New York Times Magazine author and one of the first women to receive a physics bachelor of science degree from Yale, puts it, “we need to make sure that we stop losing girls at every step as they fall victim to their lack of self-esteem, their misperceptions as to who does or doesn’t go on in science and their inaccurate assessments of their talents.”
— Girls in STEM Team