Thursday, June 19, 2014
According the the 2013 Regional Scorecard compiled by Charleston's Regional Development Alliance, Charleston, South Carolina has the potential to become a leading economic region, such as Austin, Texas or Raleigh, North Carolina, but first it must find a way to increase degree programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Junior Girls Day Out (JGDO) Community Project is helping work towards a solution by getting kids interested in STEM at an early age.
The program held it first STEM Expo on Thursday. Yes, boys were allowed.
Hosted at James Island Charter High School, it focused on enriching students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, fields where women are underrepresented. Among those in attendance were ITT Technology Institute, First Citizens Bank, James Island Community Schools and Daniel Island Tech Savvy Club.
Google was there as well.
“All the things kids love are made by computer scientists,” said Kamar Galloway, a “teaching fellow” from Google's Computer Science First afterschool enrichment program.
“You might as well teach them how it works.”
The C.S. First program, hosted by the Google Data Center based in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, aims to show kids the fun in computer science.
JGDO's Kathy Jackson agreed, stating the purpose of the expo was to “introduce those areas in a fun, cool and enriching way.”
Lego building competitions, robot car races, computer games and demonstrations of chemical reactions were used to hone the children's technological and scientific understanding.
Sean Murphy, age 6, said the expo helped him fulfill his goal to “learn how to make electronic Legos.”
Murphy is also a student at one of JGDO supporters, Daniel Island Tech Savvy Kids Club. Like JGDO, the club focuses on creative approaches to get children excited about science-related subjects.
“Programs like these help females find their future jobs,” said Nya-Mona Edmondson of the STEM Expo.
For more information on the Daniel Island Tech Savvy Kids Club, visit www.danielislandtechsavvykidsclub.com.
Information on the Junior Girls Day Out Community Project and STEM Expo is available at www.juniorgirlsdayout.wordpress.com.
With STEM-related jobs being the key to economic growth, these kids will be well-equipped. If you don't believe it, just wait a few years. Then try “googling” them.
To see a video clip of what the kids saw during one of the science experiment demonstrations, visit Moultrie News' YouTube channel, http://youtu.be/N8CEZEcH3xk