LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – On Saturday, 21 elementary and middle schools with Fayette County Public Schools came together at the University of Kentucky to celebrate the “Girls Who Game” program.
According to Dell Technologies, women make up 50% of the overall workforce, but only 28% of them hold science and engineering jobs. Now FCPS and UK are teaming up with Dell, Intel, and Microsoft to make that percentage higher.
The program was created to give girls STEM and leadership skills through the fun of gaming.
400 students, family members, and volunteers were in attendance on Saturday to hear about the importance of adding more women in STEM-related fields.
“I think it just goes back to the power of our program, right? The foundation of everything, girls who game is really about getting girls interested and excited in STEM at an early age, right? So, the fact that we got our allies here, we’ve got males, we’ve got brothers here, we’ve got community members here really supporting our girls to get them excited and interested in STEM is pretty powerful,” said Kendall Latham, K-12 education strategist at Dell Technologies.
Leaders believe if FCPS can get girls interested in STEM during fourth to eighth grades, they’re more likely to stay in the field.
The program was piloted last year and William Wells Brown Elementary was one of three schools to be a part of the program.
Amanda Yates, a STEM teacher at William Wells Brown Elementary is excited to see the program take off.
“I’m just an advocate for this program because I love teaching STEM and I want my girls, especially who are under-represented in the STEM field. I want them exposed at an early age, simply because I wasn’t and I enjoy teaching it and exposing them to new opportunities,” Yates said.
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The program starts with a challenge in developing Minecraft. The girls then evolve their skills through eSports challenges. The program offers mentors and coaches so the girls can see what they can accomplish in 10 years. Leyla Tatum, a student at William Wells Brown Elementary said she’s grateful for the opportunity since past generations didn’t have it.
“It means a lot to me because some people in my family didn’t get to have this experience to be doing this and they didn’t have these games when they were growing up so, it was a good experience for me to be able to have this,” Tatum said.
To learn more about the “Girls Who Game” program, head to the Dell Technologies website.