$10 Donation for Youth STEM Projects

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In a Nutshell

Donations help young women design and build kiosks to share their research on the health risks of sexually transmitted infections

The Fine Print

100% of donations go directly to Demoiselle 2 Femme. Donations are automatically applied. See Grassroots FAQs that apply to this campaign. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

The Issue: Gender Gap in Science and Technology Careers

The science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) workforce is critical to America’s global competitiveness and a growing field, yet women are vastly underrepresented in this field. According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, women make up nearly half of the workforce, yet hold less than 25% of STEM jobs, despite that fact that women in STEM jobs make 33% more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs. There are many possible factors for this discrepancy, including lack of female role models and gender stereotyping since childhood, and while the exact cause is not proven, the findings of the report offer evidence for the need to encourage women to pursue STEM jobs and degrees.

The Campaign: Building Kiosks for STEM Workshops

All donations raised by this Grassroots campaign will be used by Demoiselle 2 Femme to get girls involved in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies. For every $500 raised up to $1,500, participants in Demoiselle 2 Femme’s programs will design and build an outreach kiosk to inform the public about public health issues that affect the community. Any funds raised beyond $1,500 will be used to provide $230 scholarships for participants to attend STEM workshops.

Femme 2 STEM boot camps offer female students in urban distressed communities an opportunity to explore STEM disciplines, which are disciplines traditionally dominated by male students. The participants work with experts during design and build workshops over the course of two semesters to create plans for transformative design and social change in communities on Chicago’s south side. This past fall, they attended workshops organized by the Chicago Architectural foundation and built short-term exhibitions.

In the spring, they expanded their efforts and conducted a public health research project. They have been conducting surveys, holding focus groups, and researching behaviors on social media to determine the attitudes and values of their peers that impact sexual behavior and contribute to the spread of STIs. The students hope to publish their findings in a medical periodical and build public health kiosks during the boot camp, through which they can collaborate with their peers to identify solutions to this health epidemic. Participants will construct the kiosks during the Design Boot Camp beginning on July 29.

Demoiselle 2 Femme

In a vacant lot in Roseland, 10 teenagers are hammering, drilling, and sawing two-by-fours. Their goal: to build a playground for their neighbors. As explained in an article in the Chicago Tribune, these young women are participants in Demoiselle 2 Femme’s STEM projects. As part of the program, they designed and built a playground squished between two storefronts to help provide a safe place for kids in the community to play, while putting the engineering principles they had learned through the program into action. These design projects are representative of Demoiselle 2 Femme’s larger goal for its participants, reflected in its French name–to turn “young ladies to women.”

Though Demoiselle 2 Femme’s founders started only with a few volunteer mentors in a local church, Sherida Morrison and Romanetha Looper envisioned a comprehensive program that would lead girls along the path from childhood to adulthood. Today, the founders and their group of coordinators work with numerous adolescent girls to help them think systematically and make productive life decisions. Their programs focus on the problems and challenges that girls can face in society, ranging from the prevalence of drugs and STDs to nutrition and family connectedness. An after school program provides weekly workshops on life skills and interpersonal relationships, project hopeful trains participants in financial literacy, and the Femme 2 STEM program empowers girls to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math through community transformation workshops.

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