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"If we can invest 13 years in developing a drug, then we can invest 13 years in developing a girl into a scientist, technologist, or engineer."
 

Bonnie Bertolaet, Ph.D.​

Executive Director, Science Club for Girls

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OUR WORK

The Problem

Our programs are rooted in research that highlights the critical need for STEM and mentorship opportunities for low-income and racially marginalized girls and gender-expansive youth. We tackle multiple social inequities and needs, including:

  • Persistent Achievement Gap: Between well-resourced and economically disadvantaged children, as well as racial disparities exacerbated by the pandemic.

  • Pathways out of Poverty: STEM workers typically earn two-thirds more than those in non-STEM jobs.

  • Underrepresentation in STEM: Only 35% of the STEM workforce in the U.S. is female and only 4% of scientists and engineers are Black and Latina women.

  • Shortage of STEM Workers:  Our economy will need 1 million more STEM professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate over the next decade.

  • Racial/Gender Stereotypes: Limiting beliefs impact girls, especially low income and girls of color as early as second grade.

  • Diversity in STEM: We need varied perspectives and talent to tackle complex community and global issues, such as climate change and pandemics.

Our Solution

Science Club for Girls leads a movement in Greater Boston to address systemic barriers that prevent underrepresented girls and gender-expansive youth AND the STEM workforce from reaching its full potential. Our programs offer:

  • STEM Education Continuum: High-quality, hands-on, fun STEM education and mentorship that supports girls and gender-expansive youth from kindergarten through 12th grade.  

  • Accessibility: Free programs in both virtual and in-person formats with supplies and accommodations for disabilities and learning differences provided.

  • Representation: Diverse women-in-STEM role models, ensuring girls and gender-expansive youth can “see it to believe it.”

  • Community Building: A supportive network that strengthens resilience, emotional well-being, and sustained STEM interest.

  • Long-term Impact: Meaningful relationships built over many years, guiding participants to higher education and careers in STEM.

  • Significant Growth: 350% growth in enrollment since 2018; continuing to scale to serve more than 1,000 youth by 2027.

Our Impact

SCFG's programs positively influence girls' STEM engagement, with:

  • Love of Science: >95% of participants like and are curious to know more about science.

  • Perseverance: >90% of participants have an attitude of perseverance and believe they are good at solving problems. 

  • High College Enrollment: over the last 14 years, >90% of graduates attend college, >55% major in STEM; over the last 3 years, 100% of graduates attend college, >85% major in STEM 

  • Career Aspirations: 95% believe they can excel in science, 90% in math; 71% aspire to STEM careers.

  • External Recognition: Awards and prestigious grants affirm our impact in increasing diversity and inclusion in STEM education.

Together, we're building a more inclusive, equitable, and thriving STEM community.

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