GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- According to a 2009 survey from the US Department of Commerce, women hold less than 25 percent of science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM) jobs. One local organization wants to change that. Thanks to Girls Rock! Grants Pass, more than 200 girls, ages 9-13 got to participate in a variety of different workshops related to STEM, from robotics and coding, to molecular structures and seeing your own cheek cells under a microscope.
“These are fields where girls sometimes don't tend to be as represented. So we say, 'Why couldn't it be girls who fill these jobs?' They're available. It's a way for a girl to find a meaningful career that could last her for her whole life. Girls Rock! could just be one introduction to that, that sets their whole life on a course where they explore something that they find fulfilling and that society fields fulfilling as well,” said Girls Rock!’s Jessica Cunningham. "It's so heartwarming to talk to these girls who say they're having the best time."
Cunningham adds this annual event is more than just fun, hands-on, educational workshops It's a way to tell little girls that they can contribute to stem fields when they get older.
“They are able to see a role-model in that field who has taken that on locally. It's really amazing. We have local people who are involved in all these fields, talking to them. And then sort of try on how would this fit for me? Is it a good fit? Is this something I want to do?" said Cunningham.
Cunningham said some of today's volunteers were once attendees. She hopes to one day see one of those girls in a stem field, teaching one of the Girls Rock! workshops.