DemoChicks: “Knocking down barriers to build girls up.”
This guest post was written by Hannah Graykowski of DemoChicks.
DemoChicks is a nonprofit based in Long Beach, California, with a mission to empower and enlighten girls, enhance the STEM talent pipeline and minimise the STEM gender gap. In particular, we open and share unique pathways to nontraditional careers in architecture, construction, and engineering (ACE). We want to elevate girls’ future opportunities, and provide mentorship and guidance to enable them to pursue and excel in their nontraditional field of choice.
To do this, we provide supplemental education to elementary and middle school students, hands-on STEM instructional programming, distance learning, internships and professional development opportunities.
Put succinctly: We Knock Barriers Down to Build Girls Up.
Our programming centers around the following goals:
Encourage young women to consider nontraditional careers that, historically, have been closed to them – such as careers in construction, demolition, architecture and engineering.
- Create a network of professional women who have broken the glass ceiling into male-dominated fields.
- Provide mentoring and a community network for all women interested in pursuing careers in ACE.
- Support the professional growth of women professionals working in ACE.
We accomplish these ambitious goals by hosting:
- DemoChicks Online: Classes for elementary and middle school students that include experiments and presentations. Our facilitated sessions centre around specific topics (engineering, science, etc.) with interactive activities.
- DemoChicks On-Site: An extensive network of professionals who generously lend their time by hosting site visits. These professionals are project managers, contractors, engineers and architects, who enable students to come on site to witness all phases of a construction process.
- DemoChicks Ambassadors: College students who share insights about their journey to careers in ACE. Our motto is, ‘If you can see it, you can be it’. We value the importance of role models and mentors in helping girls and young women navigate through the decision-making process of their future careers.
- DemoChicks On-Location: Visits to elementary school classrooms by DemoChicks staff, who guide students through in-depth, age-appropriate projects. These elementary school projects were developed by Master Teacher Shannon Johnson, M.Ed.
Thanks to the vision of founder, Robin Thorne, our Board members, and our curriculum consultant, we have already served 137 young women and girls in less than two years and provided $2,500 in scholarships to Long Beach students. Most importantly, in surveys gauging students’ experiences in our online programs, youth surveyed consistently indicate that their “knowledge on the topic was increased,” and they “learned a lot” during the session.
Robin believes and practices “Doing Well and Doing Good”. Let DemoChicks help you do well and do good!