4 Leader Essentials for STEM Chairs
STEM chairs host programs for local girls with their branches and state leadership, assist with expansion of the national AAUW Tech Trek and Tech Savvy programs, and spread the word about AAUW’s research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Check out these tips to bring STEM opportunities to more girls in your community.
- Host a branch or state STEM program.
Many AAUW branches and states host conferences, camps, after-school programs, and other activities in their local communities. As a STEM chair, you can help your branch start its own program and connect with the community. Check out our online options for STEM leaders:
- Sign up for the Spotlight on STEM newsletter to see examples of the events and activities that AAUW branches host. All STEM chairs are subscribed to the newsletter; encourage others in your branch to sign up. Review the state map to find out what areas are impacted by local STEM programs.
- Learn about established programs to find out what program types have been most successful. You can also contact other branch leaders about their programs.
- Before you start planning a program for your area, brainstorm with your branch using this sample needs assessment to determine the best way to reach local girls.
- Use the teentech™ Program in a Box to learn how to implement a STEM program for teens, from initial planning to the day of the event.
- Contact the AAUW STEM Task Force to learn about opportunities for STEM collaboration and new programs in your area.
- Get involved with Tech Trek in your community.
Tech Trek is a weeklong summer camp for rising eighth-grade girls that develops girls’ interest, excitement, and self-confidence in STEM fields. The success of the Tech Trek model from AAUW of California prompted the program’s expansion to seven pilot sites across the United States. You can get involved with Tech Trek by applying to host a camp, donating to the Tech Trek program, or volunteering with a camp in your area. Use this brochure to promote Tech Trek to members and potential allies.
- Start a Tech Savvy conference for local girls.
Tech Savvy is a one-day conference designed to develop girls’ awareness of educational and career paths in STEM while encouraging adults to help girls pursue these interests throughout their lives. The successful program began at the AAUW Buffalo (NY) Branch, and AAUW has since expanded Tech Savvy to 10 sites nationwide with the help of a generous grant from the Praxair Foundation and the guidance of Tech Savvy founder Tamara Brown. Help AAUW fulfill our mission of empowering girls in STEM by volunteering with a Tech Savvy conference in your area, or create a committee and apply to host one in the future.
- Promote AAUW’s work in STEM.
With promotional materials from AAUW, you are equipped to serve as an ambassador about AAUW programs and opportunities at STEM conferences and professional networking events and develop key collaborations in your community. Try one — or all! — of these options:
- Inform local educators about how they can recruit and retain more girls in the STEM fields using the recommendations from the Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics executive summary.
- Use this PowerPoint presentation to share the findings of the report and encourage your branch to take action.
- Order printed copies of the full report on ShopAAUW (or download it here) to get an in-depth look at the findings on women in STEM.
Questions? Contact AAUW STEM staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAUW branches across the country empower girls in their communities with programs that build confidence in male-dominated STEM fields.
“Tech Trek was the first time I didn’t have male classmates looking down on me or making me feel weird for loving science and math,” says Ellen Thuy Le.
A 2010 research report by AAUW explains why there so few women scientists and engineers.