Girl STEMpowerment

I am the President/Co-Founder of the organization Girl STEMpowerment, and I help with the management of our 12 chapters around the world!

Photo of Nikita Bharati
10 21

Written by

Additional categories (optional)

  • Technology

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

10/02/2003

Help us stay in touch!

Phone Number: 480-747-2924 Mailing Address: 3377 East Kingbird Pl., Chandler AZ, 85286

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Instagram: @girlstempowerment, Website: https://girlstempowerment.weebly.com

Date You Started Your Project Started

06/01/2018

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Across the globe, there is a significant barrier between women and men in numerous STEM fields. The issue of women being discouraged from STEM comes from girls having a lack of confidence in these fields at a young age, due to factors such as stereotypes, gender bias, and the male-dominated environment prevalent in science and engineering departments in colleges and universities. Our organization's goal is to mitigate the gender gap in STEM!

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Girl STEMpowerment believes that we can help girls change their mindset about what it is they can do, and who they can be, thus showing them more options in the direction they want to go, whether in STEM or other fields. We want to increase young girls' interest in STEM through hands-on educational experiences which also helps them develop creativity, cooperative learning, a critical mind, and strong thinking skills, thus enabling them to discover new ideas and create new options. In order to accomplish this, Girl STEMpowerment holds free STEM workshops and events for girls in 3rd-8th grade! By doing so, this gives young girls an opportunity to explore various subjects in the STEM field while not in an environment constricted by a gender gap. Regarding the workshops that we have taught so far, topics we have covered include biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, and computer science. We have held workshops at various venues including local libraries, youth groups such as 4-H, elementary schools, and middle schools. In addition to this, we hold large STEM events to attract more girls from around the state. This includes the first-ever All Girls Math Tournament in Arizona!

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

My parents immigrated to America many years ago with the dream of living in the land of opportunity, where people from all walks of life and religions are welcomed. When granted their wish of a better life, my parents ingrained everything they learned into my siblings and me, shaping us into who we are today. Hearing stories of the journey they took taught me a few lessons that I have applied to my own self till this day. One of those lessons is to find your voice and let it be heard. My mother experienced numerous hardships growing up as a young girl in a patriarchal society, which often forced her to be an agreeable and quiet part of the status quo. She was taught to stay at home and tend to the family instead of pursuing her dreams of becoming an engineer. Hearing from the experiences she went through has fueled my passion for fighting gender bias in STEM fields.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Numerous young girls are on the very edge of their seat, their hands stretched with eagerness to respond to the question that I just asked. I pick a girl named Ali. She looks around to see if she might’ve been mistaken for being called on, but when she realized she wasn’t, she almost flew out of her chair. “DNA is the thing that codes for genes in our body!” exclaimed Ali. “You are absolutely correct!” I said, smiling at the look of reassurance on her face. After the workshop, Ali came up to me and said how we have inspired her to try her own experiments at home and how she wants to become a scientist one day. Sharing an experience like this with young girls like Ali is irreplaceable, and fuels my passion for this issue. Women are led to believe that there is no place for them in this field, and I strive to reverse this issue by showing each girl like Ali that they can succeed in STEM.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

One project we work on in partnership with a non-profit called the Arizona Sustainability Alliance is building technology known as Food Computers. A Food Computer is a tabletop-sized, controlled environment agriculture technology platform that uses robotic systems to control climate, energy, and plant growth inside of a specialized growing chamber. We are bringing these to middle schools around Arizona to teach girls about environmental science and computer science! Agritech education is something that many organizations do not touch on, and our organization is unique for teaching this topic!

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

With our various STEM workshops and events, we have been able to impact hundreds of girls around the world! In Arizona alone, we have impacted around 400 girls through our workshops, events, and presentations at school STEM Nights. On September 17th, we partnered with Intel to present at the Arizona STEM and Innovation Summit, which increased the number of girls impacted by a couple hundred, especially since this event attracts around 1,200 attendees. In April of last year, we held the first-ever All Girls Math Tournament, which attracted 70 girls from all over the state. To date, Girl STEMpowerment has 12 chapters around the world in Arizona, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, MIT, ASU, John Hopkins University, and Kashmir. Chapters that are currently being established are in Kentucky, Indonesia, and India! We continuously send out surveys to get feedback.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

For future work, our team is working on expanding to more locations beyond our 12 chapters, as well as utilizing our new partnerships to implement more social impact projects in STEM. Our newest partner is Intel, and we were working to implement their kid-friendly technology into future STEM workshops, as well as hold larger tech events for girls with them. We also recently partnered with TechGirlz, a global non-profit organization focused on empowering women in computer science, to put on a biotech camp at a local university in the spring (we are currently working with them to plan/develop it). In addition to this, we are in the initial stages of implementing our Food Computer project in local middle schools and will be scaling up further.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Project Management

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations between $100-$1k

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Search engine

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

N/A

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Spam
Photo of K Green
Team

My daughter enjoyed the math competition. It was well-organized, and really was a great opportunity for girls to get involved in STEM. Our community definitely needs this kind of organization, especially with the high concentration of STEM-oriented girls in Chandler and Gilbert.

Spam
Photo of Nikita Bharati
Team

Thank you so much! That is great to hear that your daughter enjoyed our All Girls Math Tournament. We hope to see them at future tournaments and events!

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