by Babs Cape –
“I should have been an engineer, but I didn’t know what one was!” Tamara Hudgins tells visiting members of Seeds of Strength. But Tamara is not an engineer; rather, she is the passionate and talented Executive Director of Girlstart, an organization dedicated to making sure her experience doesn’t happen to girls in the 21st century and beyond. Girlstart’s mission is to enlighten, engage and inspire girls to know about science and math and the world of possibilities these subjects open to them. Girlstart’s core programs foster STEM skills development, an understanding of the importance of STEM to solve the world’s major problems, as well as an interest in STEM electives, majors, and careers.
Through its comprehensive programming, Girlstart provides a year-round intensive suite of STEM education programs for girls. For 4th and 5th graders, Girlstart offers a free, enrichment program called After School. Summer Camps like Where the Wild Things Live and Get a Clue offer hands-on learning experiences. Older girls (6th-8th graders) learn while having fun through Scrub In and Ready, Set, Rescue and a film festival. Astronomy shows are held once a month. Starry Nights is a happening at the STEM Studio and Mini Planetarium is an event for families.
Girlstart knows how to bring girls into the world of science and math; first creating interest and then providing tools for pursuing a future in related fields. The belief is that if you give these girls insight, education and encouragement, most will continue to follow these interests. A key component is encouraging the girls in middle school to take the Pre-Advance Placement three-year plan.
Girlstart has been dedicated to impacting the future of girls for almost 30 years in Central Texas and beyond. Six of Georgetown’s schools are served by the After School program. The curriculum is custom-made and is currently used in Texas, California and Massachusetts. Girlstart programs offer 17 career connections — professions not populated by many women — and the girls love it.
Seeds of Strength can be proud to support the BRAVE and CREATIVE and CURIOUS wave to make the world a better place.