Connect with us


Girls in Utah get $12,000 in technology for their schools via a nationwide STEM competition



Tooele, Utah – A teacher and a group of young women in Tooele are working to encourage more women to pursue careers in STEM, an area that is still dominated by men.

Studies reveal that the “STEM Gap” still exists despite efforts to encourage more girls and women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

“I have had a passion for STEM, it’s really fun,” explained student Zuriann Kay. “I’ve always liked building things, I plan on doing chemical engineering.”

However, five female freshmen at Tooele High School are attempting to close such disparities.

“I was surprised no boys joined us really, I’m glad it’s just the girls club because it wouldn’t be as fun,” reflected Mya Erikson. “The boys try to take over everything, they think they’re so cool.”

The pupils just emerged victorious in the first phase of a national STEM competition, supported by Samsung, earning their school $12,000 worth of technology.

Naturally, the group is led by a capable mentor. Nicole Belknap, who teaches math at the school these days.

“I didn’t have to do anything to motivate them, these girls are inspiring, they’re brilliant, and they’re freshmen,” Belknap praised.

Only four women, including Belknap, received physics degrees from Brigham Young University in 1999.

“It wasn’t female, it wasn’t popular then,” she explained. “So that’s what’s so fun about inspiring these girls who love science.”

Belknap saw information about the Samsung Solve For Tomorrow STEM challenge as an exhortation to become involved.

“Samsung said; ‘find this problem in your community and then come up with a solution for it,'” Belknap explained.

The five amazing youngsters worked hard to remove any aquatic weeds from Stansbury Park Lake.

“We’re trying to remove the invasive lake weeds called phragmites from the lake,” said Ashton Shields, a freshman at the school. “Our plan right now is to put vinegar on them to discourage new growth.”

Crews have been pulling weeds at the surface for years, but since 80% of phragmites are below the water, this is not a long-term solution.

“The phragmites actually eat up a lot of water and we’re in the drought and that’s not great,” reflected student Sophie Stoker.

Since they were raised there and have visited the park throughout the year, the girls are aware of the effects the lake has on the neighborhood.

“We spend summers here and like the weeds are like super gross,” said Alexis Kirby.

The girls from Tooele High were selected as one of 50 state finalists from over a thousand applications, and their school was awarded $12,000 worth of new technology.
They are currently creating a three-minute film to persuade Samsung judges that they should be among the top ten.

“We’re just trying to make a difference even if it’s a small one,” Stoker said. “The world’s not perfect, but we can make it a little closer.”

The students will go to Washington, D.C., to compete against other young, bright STEM brains from throughout the nation if their project places in the top 10.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *