STEM girls are cool!

That’s the rallying cry for a year-long initiative presented by WKYC that will expose Northeast Ohio girls to careers in the “STEM’ fields — science, technology, engineering and math.

The campaign is presented in partnership with female scientists across the region who hope to spur girls to consider entering the male-dominated STEM professions. It will be a multi-pronged effort that will involve on-air and digital news stories as well as promotion of local science events.

Chief Meteorologist Betsy Kling serves as the face of the campaign, titled “Growing Curiosity: Girls in STEM”.

A self-professed science geek, she has earned the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist accreditation from the American Meteorological Society as well as the Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association. She is a full member of both professional associations and serves as a mentor to college students and young professionals.

On Fridays at 7 pm during the Donovan Live show, Kling will highlight a different “STEM-bassador,” or student scientist of the week.

Later this year, WKYC will introduce a regular feature profiling women scientists in the region.

An advisory board of female scientists employed at NASA, Great Lakes Science Center and many local museums, universities and private companies will work together to supply the content for the Girls in STEM project.

During a series of meetings held at WKYC last year, convened by WKYC General Manager Micki Byrnes, these scientists agreed that there’s a critical shortage of women who are prepared for jobs in their high-paying STEM fields. To reduce the shortage, it’s important to expose girls and their families to science careers, give them opportunities for hands-on learning and introduce them to female role models.

Advisory board members will work together to create a calendar of local science-related events on, and to provide a centralized list of local programs and resources that expose students to science careers, such as:

  • University of Akron’s Women in Engineering program offers a variety of programs including a summer camp for high school girls.
  • The Goodyear company will present a STEM Day for middle school students on April 21 at Firestone High School.
  • Girls Scouts Lake Erie Council, which serves 28,000 girls in 18 Northeast Ohio counties, offers a STEM curriculum and related badges to get girls excited about science.

© 2018 WKYC

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