Martin’s program keeps girls engaged in STEM fields

Memphis Standout profile for The Memphis Daily News

Aug. 23, 2013

Girls Inc. is a national nonprofit providing girls ages 6-18 with after-school and summer programs, field trips and college tours.

The goal, as stated by the organization’s mission, is “to provide a vision of confidence and self-sufficiency and to provide the means for making the vision a reality for girls, inspiring all girls to become strong, smart, and bold.”

The Eureka program is specifically designed to accommodate rising eighth-graders with an interest in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum. The Eureka program’s coordinator is Rondalyn Martin, a Memphis native who attended Hillcrest High School but had no such program available when she was a child.

“One of the things that I say to the girls often is that I wish I was afforded an opportunity, as well as knowing about programs such as this, that will give you an opportunity and give you this type of exposure to various careers,” she said.

During the school year, Martin said, women mentors working in STEM fields will come in to “speak with the young ladies about various opportunities that they have and expose them to various careers, salaries and whatnot, and we do a lot of touring of facilities as well as taking them around to teach them about colleges that have a high interest in those areas for them to participate in later on.”

The program extends into a summer component for a four-week camp that offers engaging activities and a more hands-on experience to help hold the girls’ interest over those off-months from school. The summer program is held on college campuses in the area and this past summer included a visit to The University of Memphis, where the girls learned about robotics and were able to build robots . . . (read more)