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School Hosts Event to Encourage Young Girls' Interest in 'STEM' Subjects

Posted: Updated: Feb 13, 2016 09:30 PM
"Girls Geek Day" at St. Anne's Belfield in Charlottesville "Girls Geek Day" at St. Anne's Belfield in Charlottesville
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Elementary school girls from all across central Virginia spent the day practicing their coding and computing skills. St. Anne’s Belfield School hosted the "Girls Geek Day" at the Learning Village Campus Saturday.

Teachers say “STEM” - science, technology, engineering, and math - activities are geared more toward boys. With this event, they hope to spark girls' interest and help them recognize their full potential.

“There's not an issue with getting men in the field of engineering that's not an issue, there's an issue of getting women,” Becky Fisher, a “Geek Girls” volunteer, said.

One example of the day’s activities involved a group of middle schoolers helping the younger ones learn how to code, using an iPad to make a ball move.

“It's a ball with a robot inside of it, and when you tell it to go straight, the robot will push on the ball and it will make it roll,” elementary school student Nia said.

Teachers say the older girls serve as role models who can introduce the younger ones to the world of coding and tech.

"It sets an example and sort of like encourages you,” middle school student Gracie said.

Encouragement is what “Girls Geek Day” is all about: working together to become future leaders in science and innovation.

Teachers say they target elementary and middle school students because middle school is where the interest in technology tapers off. They say over the years this event has attracted more and more girls to the program.

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