I love your question!!!
There are so many ways to encourage more girls to pursue STEM fields. Start by looking at each school or organization you belong to for opportunities - if they don't exist, create them. What I mean is create a STEM club or work on a STEM project together to spark imagination. Start with a small achievable project. Find a STEM activity that is relevant to your current interests and student body. It doesn't necessarily need to cost money. You could do a lesson or project on "weather" or "space" or volunteer on a community project that is important to you. Or invite a teacher or a speaker/practitioner to talk about STEM careers. You could start a mentoring or tutoring program. Try to make the experiences as hands on as possible.
Its really important to network and find other girls/women who are also interested in STEM. Join a student chapter of IEEE when you get to college. Study with other students interested in STEM. Keep up to date on new innovations - watch TED Talks, go to free lectures at school/the local college/planetarium. Talk to anyone who will listen about STEM and how important STEM is for our future since 70% jobs in 2020 will require a STEM background. The most important thing is to give and encourage girls/women STEM experiences and demystify these fields. Once you build a radio or see a planet in a telescope or see a cell under a microscope, you get it: this makes STEM real and approachable.
Finally always pay if forward and make opportunities and time for girls/women as you advance in your career. Definitely visit your high school or grammar school and spread the word that STEM is a great opportunity. You are a role model right now and can definitely encourage more girls to pursue STEM fields.
Victoria recommends the following next steps:
- Tell us about a STEM project you decide to pursue!
- Check out this link at the Verizon.com website and read all the STEM articles for ideas: https://www.verizon.com/search/SearchResults?Dy=1&Nty=1&Ntt=STEM&ES=Corporate&smu=Y