ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Girl Scouts in western Virginia have a new tool to address the gender gap in science and technology.
The colorful van will be hard to miss when it hits the road, and when it does the Mobile STEM Center will be equipped with a telescope, computers for coding, a Lego robotics kit and other hands-on activities.
“We’re going to outfit it with tables and chairs,” said Program Director Molly Hagan, “and we’re basically going to be able to set up anywhere.”
A project more than two years in the making, and delayed by COVID-19, is now ready to bring STEM education to young women across western Virginia.
“Our council is 36 counties, about 18,000 square miles,” said Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council CEO Nikki Williams. “This is going to give us an opportunity to make sure that girls have access to participate in STEM activities regardless of where they’re located.”
On Friday afternoon, the council cut the ribbon on the new Mobile STEM Center, and celebrated a $30,000 grant from the Roanoke Women’s Foundation, that along with contributions from other partners made the project possible.
MaryJean Levin is President-elect of the Roanoke Women’s Foundation.
“Young girls are going to have such a wonderful experience in this mobile STEM van and I think that many are going to be attracted to great careers in the future.”
This will be council’s the first Mobile STEM Center, but not necessarily the only one.
Williams said she would like to see a fleet in the next few years, to bring STEM education to more young women in western Virginia.
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