STRIDE Co-Sponsors Girls in Science and Engineering Day at UAB

For the second year in a row, the STRIDE Center has supported a K-12 initiative at the University of Alabama at Birmingham aimed at engaging middle school girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The "Girls in Science and Engineering Day" (GSED) event was held on May 7th and led by Dr. Viriginia Sisiopiku, an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. Collaborators included UAB female faculty and students from engineering, biology and medicine who led workshops and hands-on activities and worked with the middle school girls. 

“The event aims at inspiring middle school girls to study science and engineering and thus helps to reduce gender disparity in science, technology, engineering, and math career paths,” Dr. Sisiopiku said. “The ultimate goal is to empower young women as individuals and as members of a diverse urban community setting”.

A total of 170 girls from 45 different middle schools registered for the event this year. Nearly 50 volunteers coordinated 12 workshops in rehabilitation robotics, neuroscience, chemistry, civil engineering, environmental engineering, electrical engineering, materials science and more. 

A survey conducted at the end of the event revealed that 98 percent of the participants gained at least one new scientific career or role model, 96 percent said the event improved their confidence in a science setting and 93 percent of the girls in attendance said they found out about new careers in science and engineering.

Image at top right: Dr. Virginia Sisiopiku, (second from right) with her collaborators in GSED.

Images below, clockwise:  A guest speaker addressing a roomful of middle school girls; Students working on a STEM activity; Clearly enjoying the event, some of the girls who attended the GSED pose for a group picture; Two volunteers (at left) coach students on an activity.