Molly Lahart’s ImagineIT Project Fosters Girls’ Excitement for STEM

Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) offer women the opportunity to engage in some of the most exciting dimensions of discovery and technological innovation.  However, there’s a huge gender gap in choosing STEM related professions. Molly Lahart is hoping to change that! Her ImagineIT project is centered around creating an environment where girls are encouraged to expand their knowledge and ability in STEM through fun, educational activities.  She says, “The key idea of my ImagineIT project is to create a space where female students at Prosser Career Academy can learn and discover a love for STEM.” 

As a ninth grade math teacher, Lahart is also concerned that by the time students reach the high school level, they’ve lost their sense of curiosity-especially in mathematics. Lahart feels that mathematical play is an essential component to understanding, and a possible solution for the loss of curiosity. By allowing her students time to play, they are determined to question, take risks and adjust as they participate in an authentic learning process. Through her ImagineIT project, Lahart is organizing an after school program for girls only.  She feels that increasing opportunities for women in these fields is an important step towards fostering girls’ excitement for STEM.  Her intentions also include presenting these young ladies with an awareness of STEM related jobs.  She shares, “This will be a place where female students are allowed to explore what they love and hopefully find out how to turn this love into a career they are passionate about.”  Her ivideo details her vision of a space where girls explore the world of STEM through a play-based learning approach.  She anticipates her students will walk away from the experience with a brighter outlook on math and science, and hopefully consider a STEM related career. 

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