Femme (French for “woman”) to STEM is a program which provides adolescent girls ages 14-18 with exposure to S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) careers through integrative learning experiences with an emphasis on addressing Public Health risk through research, architecture, and community transformative design. Experts within the S.T.E.M. disciplines coach, empower, and develop our S.T.E.M. participants in the areas of design & build skills, the components of research amongst human subjects, and the tenants of leadership. Girls ages 14-18 serve as social environmentalists who utilize problem solving skills to engage, confront, address and bring awareness to social issues and seek to diminish public health risks within distressed communities through short term exhibitions, multi-media presentations and design projects.
F2S focuses on architectural design, engineering and technology in the fall and medical/health sciences in the spring. F2S culminates with a (3) week summer, “Building Heroes” design, build, impact boot camp which integrates skills and knowledge obtained during the semesters to engage and impact their community. Goals: Create learning experiences which increase girls who pursue post-secondary education and STEM careers; increase leadership, creative and critical thinking skills; and increase community awareness of STEM and impact public health through student-led transformative design projects.
F2S targets high school girls who reside in Roseland and far south suburban neighboring communities. Addresses: need for increased math and science skills among students attending low performing schools; access to information and experiences which increase confidence in pursuing STEM careers; need for youth advocacy, engagement, leadership and critical thinking; community engagement; and asset development
The Femme 2 S.T.E.M. (F2S) program launched in August of 2012 and was recognized for transforming a vacant, trash-filled lot in the Roseland community. The “Climb, Jump, Leap, Imagine” playground received media attention and was featured in the Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, and ABC7 News Chicago. The program was also awarded the grand prize for the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Space In Between-Placemaking Contest and received 2nd place recognition for the 2013 Heroes In The Hood competition. Major partners include: Public Workshop (Philadelphia, PA), Latent Design (Chicago-based architecture firm), Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Northwestern University, and Master Mix Academy.
In the summer of 2013, the F2S program transformed an old, outdated classroom in Fenger High School (in Roseland) to a meeting space for Fenger students to promote, school spirit, academic excellence and non-violence. The 2014 program year will include a design build project which features the Roseland and Pullman Neighborhoods in Chicago as well as STEM Summer Leadership Tour- introducing girls to opportunities in STEM by visiting various out-of-state colleges, corporations and professionals.
For evaluation data on Femme 2 STEM, visit our Research and Evaluation page