What do science, technology, engineering and math have in common with the art of dance?
On the surface – not much.
But STEM From Dance, a New York City-based non-profit group, is using dance to expose girls, in low-income communities, to the opportunities available to them in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – also known as STEM education.
STEM From Dance: Girls swing to successSTEM From Dance uses movement to expose girls from low-income communities to opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineeering and Math, or STEM.
Yamilee Toussaint is the group’s founder. She says many minority girls, from low-income areas, don’t dream of becoming scientists or engineers, not because of ability, but because of a lack of confidence.
“The way you think as a dancer is very similar to how you think as an engineer,” explains Yamilee. “You often go through the same steps of brainstorming, creating a proto type and getting feedback.”
One of the program’s goals is to expose these girls to the possibility of pursing a STEM career. Something they may not have considered before.
“To be honest, I thought that STEM wasn’t going to be fun, but it really is fun,” said Chantel Harrison, a STEM From Dance student. “I really learned a lot of coding and different ways to use it.”
With nearly 80% of future careers requiring STEM knowledge and skills, STEM From Dance is using a creative approach to redefine access for girls and minorities and hopefully turn the tide of discrimination once and for all.
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