Our Motivation & Origin
The world is rapidly changing. We are in the midst of a technology revolution with rapid innovations affecting every aspect of our lives. In this ever-changing world, the skills required to make the world a better place have also changed. More than ever, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) have become an integral part of any career. In the United States and around the world, the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs are in the STEM fields. And the solutions to many of our world’s challenges —ranging from climate change to food scarcity to public health to geopolitical stability— will come from STEM advances.
Women are still underrepresented in STEM fields.
According to the National Science Foundation, in 2017, only 29% of science and engineering professionals were women, despite the fact that women comprised over 50% of the college-educated workforce. The under representation of women in STEM is a complex issue, with a myriad of causes from social, economic, and environmental factors to cultural influences. Biases and negative stereotypes about women’s abilities in math and science, low confidence, and lack of visible mentors also adversely affect their performance in these fields.
The STEM world needs girls!
In addition, research shows while there are no differences in cognitive abilities between girls and boys in the STEM subjects, girls do have a larger capacity for empathy. The STEM world needs more empathetic leaders to address existential questions about our world, our purpose, and the role of technology in our lives. Girls have the power to shape STEM fields in the future.
STEM CONNECTS understands the need for visible, accomplished women to inspire the next generation of girls interested in STEM. Role models can inspire, share experiential knowledge, and provide wisdom to encourage girls to pursue their interest in the STEM fields. If girls can see it, they can be it.
STEM CONNECTS is building a network of female leaders to serve as role models. From the personal stories of these role models at various stages of their careers, girls can learn about their successes, challenges, and personal choices, all while building support to pursue their own STEM interests. Drawing from the experiences of these established women, girls can be stronger and more confident as they forge their own paths. By connecting with each other, women and girls can reshape the STEM fields for females everywhere.
STEM CONNECTS realizes that most girls develop an interest in STEM fields from their exposure to school subjects like mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, and coding. STEM CONNECTS will focus some workshops on college majors, featuring women who majored in STEM fields and highlighting the diverse professional routes they took. STEM CONNECTS will also feature leaders in STEM fields who may not have taken a traditional route to their current careers. STEM CONNECTS recognizes that in an ever-changing world, the path to success is not always linear or straightforward. But by connecting with and supporting one another, girls and women can help create a better STEM world.
Julia Bae founded STEM CONNECTS in 2022. A high school sophomore at the Winsor School in Boston, Julia has always had an interest in STEM subjects, particularly math and problem-solving. She became curious about the career options for girls like her, who liked math or would consider studying math in college. During her explorations, Julia learned about the importance of math in so many different professions. She was fascinated, for example, how the concepts she learned in her game theory and probability courses applied to business, medicine, economics, and political strategy. She realized that many of her high school peers who were interested in STEM subjects, like physics or chemistry, also wondered about potential career options. Julia created STEM Connects with the goal of educating high school girls interested in STEM about possible career paths and professional opportunities.
In addition to STEM CONNECTS, Julia is a member of the Russian School of Math competition team and helps with business and development for the Wildbots, her school’s FTC robotics team. Julia can often be seen on the tennis court as an enthusiastic scholastic and USTA competitor. When not solving math problems or hitting tennis balls, you will find Julia capturing Earth’s beauty with her digital camera, laughing with friends over acai bowls, or singing along to her favorite Taylor Swift songs.
Lindy is a sophomore at the Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts. She is very interested in STEM, particularly computer science and engineering, and is very enthusiastic about inclusivity in technology. She is a co-founder of Groton's Girls Who Code chapter, and she loves to participate in USACO competitions. Outside of school, Lindy plays tennis and runs cross country.
Hayden is a sophomore at the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, Massachusetts. Her academic interests include romance languages and STEM classes, and her extracurricular interests are soccer, skiing, and all things outdoors-y. Hayden’s favorite movie is Madagascar 3.
Diya is a sophomore at Lexington High School, and she is mainly interested in science. Some of extracurriculars include tennis, piano, and volunteering at an Indian language school. A fun fact about Diya is that everytime she writes the word opposite, she spells it with the letter b instead of p (obbosite). She always has to go back and correct it!
Katie is a sophomore at The Hopkins School in New Haven, CT. Katie has always loved STEM, especially math and science, which are her two favorite subjects in school. Along with those, tennis is another of her biggest passions, as she has been playing since she was six years old. But there are already plenty of girls in tennis…Katie would love to see even more in STEM!!