“Never limit yourself because of others' limited imagination.” -Mae Jemison, first African American female astronaut
The end of March means the end of Women’s History Month. The end of March doesn’t even begin to mean the end of women making history. We’ve highlighted the incredible Sunnyside InvenTeam before, but not like this. This team is filled with women who are making history by breaking into the STEM field and are completely ROCKING it.
Deja Clay became interested in engineering in the 5th grade after joining the science club at school. Although she has been active with engineering for years, Deja still finds herself intimidated at certain times being in a male-dominated field. She recently attended a robotics program at the University of Pennsylvania where she was the only African-American and one of only six girls in a program of 30 plus. Deja preserved through her doubt and designed a project that came in fourth place overall!
Sam Agniel didn’t join any STEM activities until 10th grade. She admits truthfully that she only joined STEM because it was the lesser of all the electives she didn’t want to do. Sam now co-leads the InvenTeam that has won a major grant and received government recognition! Sam also became intimidated recently while she was at the Johnson Space Settlement Design competition where teams of 52 had to elect leaders. Sam wanted to run for a position but felt intimidated by the first 4 speeches that were all given by males. She eventually stood up and decided to run and then won the election becoming the lead communicator for her entire team.
Lyxus Green, similar to Sam, only chose STEM because she was tired of having P.E. as her chosen elective and then fell in love with all things STEM. Lyxus participated in an internship this summer where she had to come up with a new filter concept to catch different types of debris. Lyxus was the newest person to STEM that was attending this internship program and thrived while designing her filter concept. There wasn’t a competition here, but she successfully designed a filter that was able to catch all kinds of debris!
“The best teams are the ones that are most diverse,” Sam said.
So why aren’t there more women pursuing STEM fields? All three girls felt very passionate about this question because they have seen how the opportunity to pursue STEM fields has changed their lives.
“A majority of girls think there are certain things they are supposed to do,” shared Lyxus. “Girls need to know they can explore and try new and different things.”
Deja agreed completely adding that girls need to be mentored more in the STEM fields.
“How are girls supposed to know they have these passions if no one ever exposes different options?” Sam added.
We are so proud of these three girls and all the women making history! They know and understand that there’s nothing they can’t do. And even better, they want to make a difference so that all girls know they have options!