Fayette County Help Girls Learn STEM Skills
The Fayette County Public Schools in Kentucky has teamed up with the University of Kentucky to provide more opportunities for female students to develop science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and leadership skills through gaming.
The “Girls Who Game” program, created by Dell Technologies with partners Microsoft and Intel, provides an opportunity for underserved students across North America to learn about STEM through gaming. Some of the skills the players learn include computational and critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, and innovation.
Women constitute 50 percent of the overall workforce and but only represent 28 percent of the science and engineering workforce. To strengthen the girl-centric ecosystem and foster interest and engagement in STEM-related fields, Dell launched the “Girls Who Game” program.
“Our vision is to create a more inclusive and equitable world through global collaboration, problem-solving, and innovation. The development of Global Competencies will enable these students to thrive in a more diverse and interconnected society,” the company notes in the program overview.
According to Dell Technologies, the program begins with the exploration of the popular game Minecraft, developing education and leadership skills. During the program, instructors evolve the curriculum to include leadership development, including things such as launching a challenge within the clubs, aligned with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, and an Esports challenge.
The Girls Who Game program also offers a personalized, safe, and supportive community made of coaches, mentors, and role models to engage the players and build their self-efficacy and confidence.
“The energy in the room, you can feel it as soon as you walk in,” said Ashley Faulkner, a STEM learning coach, during the announcement. “And the girls see potential in themselves that they [didn’t] see before or know was out there.”
The Fayette County Public Schools is the second district in the commonwealth to collaborate with Dell and the “Girls Who Game” program.