Students and mentors participate in hands-on STEM activities in the Engineering SHOP at Westerville North High School.
Eighth grade girls from Blendon and Walnut Springs middle schools who participate in the M.O.D.E.L Mentoring Program attended the January 17 Girls in STEM Day event at Westerville North High School. M.O.D.E.L., or Mentors Opening Doors Enriching Lives, is a mentoring opportunity for girls in 7th and 8th grades. The program provides women with the opportunity to volunteer as mentors and engage with girls once a month during lunch to address topics related to health, wellness, self-esteem, relationships, education and career exploration.
The goal of the day was to introduce more female students to the many opportunities available to them in the fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). It is hoped that pupils will either see, hear, or experience something during the event that will spark their interest and prompt them to enroll in a STEM-related course this year, before they begin their high school journey.
During Girls in STEM Day, students took a tour of the engineering SHOP, located in Westerville North, and got the chance to experience hands-on STEM activities. They collaborated with classmates during timed teambuilding/STEM design challenges like the marshmallow-spaghetti tower challenge and the cup stacking challenge. And they watched and discussed a documentary titled A Balanced Equation: Girls in STEM, which was produced by Roadtrip Nation. They also heard from a dynamic Women in STEM panel, including:
- Madison Mikhail Bush, Founder and CEO of POINTApp, a startup tech nonprofit on a mission to make volunteering easy. She also has a company named Gnome that provides DNA testing to help find genetically safe medication for each person. Bush was named one of the Top 10 Entrepreneurs in Columbus for 2018.
- McKenna Hensley, a first-year student at The Ohio State University who is majoring in Public Policy Analysis and Global Public Health. Hensley recently completed her second biomedical research study with Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She currently serves as an advisor for the LEAD Program.
- Whitney Kuma-Perry, is a sophomore at Westerville North High School and a former participant in the MODEL Mentoring program at Walnut Springs Middle School. Kuma-Perry is currently taking courses in the Engineer Pathway and she is a member of the Robotics Club.
Anne Baldwin, Westerville City Schools Career Tech and College Readiness Coordinator, also joined the panel discussion to assist with the course selection conversation.
Approximately 80 students and mentors attended the event, which was believed to be a great success. For additional information on MODEL Mentoring, please contact Cynthia DeVese at DeveseC@wcsoh.org or Tami Cole-Santa at SantaT@wcsoh.org. For information on the district’s STEM pathways, contact Anne Baldwin at BaldwinA@wcsoh.org.