Our team recently hosted members of the Carnegie STEM Girls Program, an initiative of the Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development at the Carnegie Science Center. On November 16th, twenty girls aged 11-17 visited as part of the program’s Tour Your Future event series, which showcased work produced by women in STEM-related careers at dynamic workplaces in and around the Pittsburgh-area.
Tour Your Future is a career exploration program that connects the girls with Pittsburgh-area institutions, businesses, and organizations, giving them an opportunity to meet female professionals who work directly in STEM professions. The program shows girls that they can find a rewarding place in today’s workforce by introducing them to diverse STEM careers, like avian zoologists, designers, architects, software engineers, surgeons, and economists.
Their visit included an introduction to MAYA and human-centered design, a tour of our space, project demos, and hands-on activities. Using the Herb Simon quote, “Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones” as a prompt, MAYA hosts Traci Thomas, Lauren Everett, Kent Vasko, and Amy Ferchak worked with the girls to build a core brand for themselves, design a future career path, and illustrate a poster themed “A Day in My Future Life.” The girls presented their posters to the group, ending the visit with a rich group discussion.
According to experience designer, Lauren Everett, the best part of the event was: When we asked the girls what skills they would need to achieve their career goals, we expected to get a list that included vocational skills such as coding, writing, anatomy, etc. But instead, they listed fantastic interpersonal skills such as inner strength, confidence, and patience!