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ST. LOUIS- While careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are on the rise, there is still a disparity in the number of black women in the field. Founder and Managing Director of Black Girls Do STEM Cynthia Chapple is on a mission to help influence more young black girls to get into the STEM field. 

“After noticing an absence of blacks girls from majority African-American districts of the region not being invited to engage STEM-related events, I wanted to do something for the girls specifically within the public education that I feel are missing out on the opportunity,” said Chapple.

Black Girls Do STEM is a program for black girls grades 6-9 to explore various STEM careers across multiple industries while being empowered through exposure. And now until March 31 the organization is looking to enroll 80 girls for their free STEM Saturday Academy.

“This is about unlocking the potential of black girls,” she said. “Freeing them up to imagine that they are capable of something that maybe they have not historically dominated”.

Chapple says each girl will meet once a month and conduct hands-on experiments in workshops designed to have them think and problem solve like a real-world scientist.

“We do a total of 28 hours of instruction that includes curriculum, hands-on experiments in workshops, and mentor networking events”, she said. “The girls will have the opportunity to see real people across these industries up close and personal”.

Chapple went on to say that the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the world to see a life where these types of programs and initiatives are more important now more than ever. 

“We look at all the scientists who were able to pull together their research in record time, COVID has shown us the need for science communication,” she said. “I am trying to make Black Girls Do STEM a part of the bigger science communication conversation so that the general public can have a deeper understanding of STEM”.

Due to the pandemic, Black Girls Do STEM is offering both in-person and virtual options. To register or for more information click here.