STEM From Dance: Girls swing to success

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STEM From DanceA New York City non-profit group is using dance to spark girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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 success

STEM 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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