Broadcom Foundation Receives Award for Pioneering Afterschool STEM Learning
Over 250 girls and young women in Orange County, California experienced hands-on STEM and coding activities at the annual STEAM Expo, organized by the Girl Scouts of Orange County (GSOC) at their headquarters in Irvine.
A pioneer in afterschool STEM learning, the GSOC was the first Girl Scouts chapter to offer a STEM badge – funded by the Broadcom Foundation – to empower young women to learn valuable 21st century skills essential for success in STEM college and careers. The foundation is an inaugural member and visionary of the STEM Consortium, a group of local corporations and organizations that see the need for more afterschool STEM programming for young women.
“Girls are natural coders and have been coding since the famous 19th century mathematician Ada Lovelace who wrote the first algorithm to be applied by a machine,” said Paula Golden, President, Broadcom Foundation. “It is exciting that the Girl Scouts of Orange County leads the way to create coders of the future, both for us and Girl Scouts volunteers like former Broadcom engineer Prasanthi Sathyaprakash who helped start GSOC code clubs almost a decade ago.”
California Legislature and Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris bestowed a recognition award to the STEM Consortium at the event that was accepted by Dana Orsini, Communications Manager, from the Broadcom Foundation.
Additional elected officials spoke at the event including Congressman Lou Correa, State Senator David Min, the City of Irvine’s Mayor Farrah Khan, and Councilman Larry Agram. They championed the vision of women and girls in STEM.
UCI Engineering Lends a Hand
The Broadcom Foundation’s booth featured UCI engineering and computer science students Athena Niu and Isaiah Enriquez who taught young women coding through a LED lighting reaction game using a Raspberry Pi!
“Working at the Girls Scouts STEAM Expo was a rewarding experience, and I was glad to show the girls what they can achieve through coding,” said Athena. “It was great seeing how enthusiastic they were about the projects, and how many of them were interested in trying their hand at Raspberry Pi kits at home.”
“I was introduced to the field of engineering through a career program hosted at my high school. It allowed me to see the opportunities and unique solutions that can be imagined to solve problems in the real world and for the public benefit,” said Isaiah. “That experience helped shape my path to becoming an engineer. I hope to help others explore their interests and expand their knowledge about what a career in STEM entails.”
Spotlight on Science Fair
The booth also featured Andrea Calderon and Kimmy Nguyen, high school students in Westminster, California, who displayed their science fair project that won First Place at the Orange County Science & Engineering Fair (OCSEF) and Honorable Mention at the California State Science Fair (CSEF). They studied the effects of air pollution on the Madagascar hissing cockroach. They participated in the OCSEF-UCI Mentor Match program that builds high school and diversity representation at science fair.
“Working with the girls at the Girl Scouts event gave me the greatest feeling of satisfaction about getting involved in STEM,” said Andrea Calderon. “All of the girls were very intrigued with my research and experiment and the devices I used. I loved how they kept asking questions, showing their curiosity in science!”
“I really liked how the GSOC STEAM Event allowed these young girls to see themselves through the experience of those before them. The event had so many STEM-incorporated projects and booths, I loved seeing that spark in their eyes as they walked around, seeing the potential in what they could become,” said Kimmy Nguyen.
STEM Consortium members hosted many fun activities, such as robots, rockets, crime evidence collection, bridge building, and more!
Raspberry Pi Foundation offers links to free resources to help anyone learn how to code. Visit the Projects site to get started. Stay connected with Broadcom Foundation on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.