Created by Team 75 in 2006, WISE, short for Women in Science and Engineering, is an initiative aimed at interesting young women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematical) fields. Historically, science and engineering careers have employed primarily men. WISE exists to reach out to young women who may not otherwise be interested in science and technology.
What began as a high school assembly with only 12 attendees, now has reached over 2,000 women. WISE booths have been presented at regionals, fairs, as well as an annual Girl Scouts Badge event, along with an annual Exploration Fair. By providing exploration booths, demonstrations, workshops, & keynote speakers, young women have received a unique introduction to careers in various STEM fields.
After the 2010 Girl Scouts event, Ms. Linda Castner, the owner of the Alexandria Airport and recipient of the $100,000 GAMTTEP (Garrett A. Morgan Technology & Transportation Education Program) grant from the USDOT, reached out to us to partner with her for an event that would reach Girl Scouts and other local school districts involved in the GAMTTEP collaboration. Through this alliance we will further increase the number of young women involved in STEM fields.
This year we have also begun several other projects. Over this past summer, we drafted requirements and activities for a Girl Scout's Robotics badge. As a continuation of this project, we hosted Girls Scout Patch Nights on December 7th, 2012, April 20th, 2013, and most recently on March 14th, 2014. It exposed girls to scientific concepts through hands-on WISE booths. Through the Johnson & Johnson WISE charter, which was created to expand WISE to underprivileged areas. We traveled to the Bronx and Brooklyn Boys and GIrls Clubs where we presented science experience to Smart Girls Program, as well as demonstrated our robot for the entire clubhouse.
As WISE flourishes, we continue to support and mentor the movement by providing resources to teams in other states. We extend invitations to our WISE events, offer Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and mentor teams who want to start WISE programs which inspire young women to pursue STEM careers, grow beyond our team & reach out beyond the FIRST community. If you are interested in starting a WISE event, please visit our SOP page or contact us for more information!