UVU Initiative Takes Aim At Recruiting Girls Into STEM Fields

June 21, 2011

A new Utah Valley University initiative, aimed at recruiting women into areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), is inviting junior high and high school females to a three-day retreat, crafted to get girls excited and interested in non-traditional fields for women. 

Girls Retreat of Wisdom (GROW) will include 30 girls from Lehi to Spanish Fork in a series of exciting workshops and activities that allow students to explore areas including computer science, physics, forensics and biology in a fun and engaging way. 

Kirk Love, Computer Science department chair at UVU, said he wants the girls to walk away with a better understanding of what careers are available for STEM majors and how financially beneficial they are to women. Moreover he hopes to get the students committed to getting a college education in a STEM major. 

GROW coordinators are currently working on putting together a second retreat for girls in August, due high interest.

GROW is the first of many more events put on by UVU’s Sister to Sister seven-year outreach initiative, with the goal of increasing the earning power of women in UVU’s region by recruiting more women into UVU STEM programs.

Program coordinators say students majoring in STEM areas lead to careers with higher salaries and job flexibility.

“This is the beginning of a larger effort to bring gender equity into STEM majors that are currently dominated by males,” said Love, who also spearheaded the creation of Sister to Sister Outreach. “Our goal at the end of this seven year effort is to get a minimum of 40 percent women in majors that are currently as low as 3 percent.”

GROW is free to participants and will be held June 22-24 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Activities include a UVU Planetarium show, user friendly computer programming workshops, team problem solving and fun lab activities.

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