STEM At The YMCA
science. technology. engineering. math
Developing Youth Through STEM
The YMCA helps all children reach their full potential by supporting their unique youth development journeys. At more than 1,000 YMCA sites nationwide, youth are engaged in year-round STEM activities that nurture their curiosity, inspire creativity, and teach them how to succeed.
The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA currently incorporates STEM into our Youth Development Programs such as Before and After School, Summer Day Camps, Preschools, and more! All participants in our Summer Camp programs are offered the opportunity to participate in our annual STEM Fair held at the Virginia Air and Space Center located in Hampton, VA.
Youth who participate in STEM activities:
- Learn how to solve a problem
- Develop critical thinking skills
- Get comfortable with failure and trying again
- Learn to work successfully in teams
- Develop self-confidence
- Are able to see themselves in STEM careers
The Y ensures all children have STEM opportunities. We make a concerted effort to include girls in all projects.
- Women make up half the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29% of the science and engineering workforce. (National Science Board, 2016)
- Fewer than 1 in 10 employed scientists and engineers are minority women. (National Science Foundation, 2016)
- In mixed-gender settings, girls are less likely to raise their hand or call out for a teacher’s attention. (Sadker & Sadker, 1986)
- Young girls are less likely to consider women “really, really smart”. (Bian, Leslie & Cimpian, 2017)
Ensuring gender equity requires intentional focus and commitment to elevating girls’ participation to counterbalance the patterns that lead to the under-representation of women in STEM. Ensuring gender equity doesn’t just positively impact girls; it positively affects all youth.
- Intentionally calling on girls leads to calling on quiet boys
- Calling on girls more often leads to more dominant boys learning to share
- Running activities that intentionally engage girls leads to engaging all genders and interests
Curious about YMCA Summer Camp?
Discover more about STEM at the YMCA