Northeastern Students “Inspire and Encourage” The Next Generation at Science Club for Girls
Melanie, a fifth-grader at Channing Elementary School, in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, reaches out to touch the back of a Jonah crab that Andrew Madanjian, S’18, a member of Northeastern’s Marine Biology Club, suspends above a tub of water. Inside are a lobster, a hermit crab, and other crustaceans collected at Northeastern’s Marine Science Center. “It feels gritty!” Melanie exclaims. Her friend, Oriana, a fifth-grader at Bowen Elementary School, in Newton, Massachusetts, takes a chance on the underside of the lobster’s tail. “It feels squishy,” she says, laughing.
It is Saturday in the basement of International Village, and both girls are there for Show Me the Science, an annual fair hosted by Northeastern’s student-run chapter of Science Club for Girls, a nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that provides STEM-based programs for girls K-12, especially those in underrepresented groups. The two-hour event, aimed at girls K-8, has drawn more than 200 participants including the girls, their families, volunteers, mentors, and staff.
At the core of Science Club for Girls are the weekly clubs: Saturday classes of 12 to 15 girls each, broken down by age, where female mentors team-teach interactive curricula developed by the organization covering topics from physics to environmental science. Members of Northeastern’s chapter host eight clubs in semesterlong sessions, serving a total of about 100 girls. Fourteen “junior mentors,” high school students who have gone through the program, learn leadership skills by helping with the lessons.