Girls in Space: The Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University is pushing to change those odds

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WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – According to the ACT, Students with an interest in STEM are continuing to be more “college-ready” than those who are not interested.

The amount of men in STEM is nearly double the number of women. So, The Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University is pushing to change those odds.

You know – there’s a lot of guys that tend to go into engineering and things like that, and we want to show girls that they can do anything

JACKIE SHIA- DIRECTOR OF CHALLENGER CENTER

The Challenger learning center has been inspiring women in STEM for awhile. But now- thanks to a grant, they’re now inspiring young girls. It’s called Little Girls in Space, and the feedback has been remarkable.

It’s just our desire to ignite their little minds and get them excited about science.

JACKIE SHIA- DIRECTOR OF CHALLENGER CENTER

The center reaches every state in the U.S. and 20 Countries across the globe. And they’re continuing to empower young girl’s minds with STEM every day

The power of a woman’s mind is just the same as the power of a man’s mind. So, we need to show women the capabilities that they have, and little girls that they can grow up to be pilots and engineers and whatever they’d like to be. Because we live in a world today that women can do anything

JACKIE SHIA- DIRECTOR OF CHALLENGER CENTER

Jackie Shia is the Director of the Challenge Center. She believes that a woman’s mind can bring a different aspect to the table.

I think that we’re going to see that. And we are seeing that today. We have no limitations anymore. So that girls can grow up knowing they can do whatever they want to do in a career.”

JACKIE SHIA- DIRECTOR OF CHALLENGER CENTER

Jackie says that it’s never too early to start hands-on science learning. Which is why they formed a Micronauts program to inspire STEM careers in children as young as four.

It’s when you remove the science from the student that there’s no way of igniting their imagination and their dream of becoming something in STEM. So the more opportunities that you give them for hands-on science and the more opportunities to experience a lab like this, or one of our E-lab Experiences the more opening of the mind that you’re doing for these girls to show them how exciting science can be

JACKIE SHIA- DIRECTOR OF CHALLENGER CENTER

According to Tech Connect West Virginia– there are over 48 thousand people in the state working in STEM-related careers representing 6.7 percent of the state’s total workforce, topping the national average of 6.2 percent.

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