These kids are excited. These girls are pumped. These middle school women are taking serious their career aspirations and taking part in the STEM mentoring program with Discoveries Unlimited. STEM stands for "Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics" and essentially the program allows for mentees to talk to industry professionals who become their mentors about academic issues, questions about particular industries, and anything related to pursuing their career of interest and the steps that would require. The program allows for the mentors and their mentees to attend an event once a month, and this month Golden Technologies has graciously opened their doors to show the girls about the wonderful world of technology.
"Technology, science, and jobs are typically men-dominated. What we're trying to do is we're trying to introduce women to these fields," said Scott Dujmovich, Partner at Golden Technologies.
To start things off, the staff at Golden Technologies took the girls around on a tour of their offices talking about the different aspects of their jobs working in the technology field.
"A lot of people just think that having a job like this that you sit in front of a computer all day," said Dujmovich. "But, there's a lot of different facets to it. You have administration, project management, and other aspects as well."
Employees then showed the girls how to perform basic web design like starting their own blog as well as touching on the hardware aspect of computers in what it takes to build a computer.
Jennifer McIntosh-Elkins, CEO of Discoveries Unlimited, has been very impressed with the drive and determination to learn that her middle school girls possess. Since starting the first pilot M&M (mentor to mentee) program in January 2010, McIntosh-Elkins and her staff have seen explosive interest in the program from young girls.
Beginning to tell a story, McIntosh-Elkins began, "Normally at a church potluck you don't go away hungry. But, I started talking about the program to a few girls from my church and all of a sudden, I had to get out of my seat, because there was a full table of girls wanting to know more about the program."
"I had to go out to eat after the potluck," she laughed.
McIntosh-Elkins' inspiration for Discoveries Unlimited came from her own experience as a webmaster for 20 years. There was 50 people in her entire company, and two of those people were women. Herself and the receptionist.
"Multiplying possibilities is our tagline so we're putting them in a position to ask themselves 'Can I be an engineer or a scientist? They've gotten to work with weather balloons, LEGO robotics, they've gotten to build bridges and break them," McIntosh-Elkins continued energetically.
"The main thing is is that they get to talk to those people in these fields."
To see more photos of all that took place at Golden Technologies, click here!
Also, for more information regarding Discoveries Unlimited or how to partake in their activities, please visit their website at http://discoveriesunlimited.org/