Time to Explore STEM Excitement at the YMCA image is a girl creating a structure using straws and marshmallows

STEM At The YMCA

science. technology. engineering. math

Developing Youth Through STEMimages show kids doing STEM projects at YMCA camps

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 concerted effort to include girls in all projects.

Fast Facts:

  • 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)

Equity Isn’t the Same as Equalityinfographic depicting how the YMCA prepares youth for success through STEM

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

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Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.