Friday, October 11 marks the seventh “International Day of the Girl”. The day seeks to highlight the needs and specific challenges girls face and promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

You might now be thinking, it’s 2019, is this really necessary? The answer is perhaps best summarized by Melinda Gates in her recent article: Here’s Why I’m Committing $1 Billion to Promote Gender Equality[1]. Gates writes,In 2018, there were more men named James running Fortune 500 companies than there were women. This year, only one CEO on that list of 500 is a woman of color.”

Today, iBIO celebrates the International Day of the Girl. And we commit to helping girls grades 3-8 discover and embrace their interests, self-confidence and skills in STEM.

We invite you to celebrate with us and help us strengthen and expand Stellar Girls and STEMgirls, our programs for girls grades 3-8 which provide after-school and summer camp opportunities to explore STEM. Girls are empowered by these programs. Through fun, hands-on STEM and STEAM-centered activities, girls develop a belief in their own abilities that will persist and withstand the many obstacles to achieving their goals. They build and test their own windmill designs, design and build working flashlights and recycling sorter conveyor belts. They make ice cream to learn about chemistry and explore antigens and antibodies. Through these and dozens of other activities, girls learn about themselves as much as they learn STEM concepts. They learn that, in STEM, “failure” is actually a healthy and necessary part of creating a more enduring success.

We invite you to join us in celebrating young women and commit yourself to volunteering for these important programs. Our volunteers give girls visibility to women and men working in STEM careers, help girls recognize their own potential, and make connections between the hands-on explorations and future careers. If you are interested in volunteering please contact [email protected].

Support iBIO’s STEM programs that inspire and empower the next generation of life sciences leaders