Girl's STEM Network
SJSU is contributing significantly to developing a vastly larger workforce of skilled STEM professionals and addressing the particular need for computer scientists and cyber security professionals. Particular attention is being placed on recruiting girls and young women into fields where they remain drastically underrepresented. SJSU’s Jay Pinson STEM Education program, in collaboration with the TechGYRLs program of the YWCA of Silicon Valley, is facilitating the Girls STEM Network (GSN) program.
GSN provides opportunities for girls to increase their computer science/cyber security/STEM content knowledge while becoming community leaders who will create awareness about STEM-focused content and careers. GSN is led by instructors with content expertise and experience in formal education and is supported by SJSU students enrolled in the campus-wide service learning course. It creates all-female, largely out-of school time, STEM-focused learning environments that enable girls in grades 4 through 8 to learn and communicate skills and content while developing strong relationships with female mentors. It also provides opportunities for SJSU students to gain experience in STEM-focused teaching and mentoring, potentially contributing to the pipeline of well-prepared STEM-focused teachers.
During the Academic year, GSN will deliver 37.5 hours of instruction to over 100 girls and will involve 18 SJSU service learning students in 48 hours of STEM-focused service activities. GSN instructional sessions culminate in community events held at community-based sites and at SJSU where girls showcase their digital artifacts and other work generated during the session. These events are community-focused and are attended by girls’ family members, teachers and interested members of the community.