The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) E3 program is a hands-on, real-world program emphasizing education, employment and entrepreneurship (E3) for young women of color in 5th – 8th grades using STEM technology. This program strives to provide education opportunities, career exploration, and mentorship for young students of color interested in STEM fields.
STEM E3 Participant
In 2019, YWCA Boulder was selected as one of two YWCA branches in the country to be awarded a grant by Google.org to increase black and Latina students’ access to computer science and artificial intelligence education. Google.org granted YWCA USA $2 million over three years to be split between 15 YWCA branches around the country to support the YWCA’s STEM E3 (Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship) program, which works with young women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Year 1 of the 3-year STEM E3 pilot program began with coding sessions for more than 300 students ages 9-14 aimed to introduce more young women of color to computer science by teaching them programming. The sessions included introductory Level 1 sessions offered at local high-tech companies, including Google. More advanced Level 2 sessions were offered virtually as a 6-8-week extracurricular activity to teach more sophisticated programming tools and engage the students more fully in coding activities.
In response to the impact of COVID-19, the STEM E3 program switched to an all-virtual format in the spring of 2020. Introductory Level 1 sessions connect young women of color to STEM professionals through virtual panel discussions and personalized mentoring during breakout sessions. Participants use Curated Pathways to Innovation™ , a web-based app developed by YWCA Silicon Valley and partners that provides an engaging, culturally responsive platform for learning computer science skills. Level 2 advanced programming cohort sessions also incorporate the Curated Pathways platform.
Through these innovative tools and community partnerships, the STEM E3 program continues to thrive:
- Our spring 2020 cohort of 24 girls completed more than 600 technology badges and 350+ hours of STEM and coding programs.
- Our first Youth Who Code STEM E3 Virtual Summer Camp was held in July 2020. In partnership with Casa de la Esperanza and the City of Longmont Youth Center, we offered a four-day, two-hours-per-day program that sent 21 young students of color on their journey to learn the fundamentals of coding.
- The STEM E3 program curriculum was recently approved by Boulder Valley School District as meeting district standards for extracurricular activities, opening the door for more extensive program implementation.
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host the next STEM E3 Virtual Jam Session on October 19.
Google Tech Session Kicks Off Boulder County YWCA Stem Program for Girls of Color – Daily Camera, September 16, 2019
Google Hosts “Made with Code” Party for Local High School Girls – Daily Camera, December 6, 2018