Every young girl and boy have been asked the question; ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ For boys, it was an athlete, astronaut, doctor, scientist, policeman, or a fire fighter. For girls, a teacher, veterinarian, singer, actress, dancer, or artist would have been a typical answer.
The answer kids give to that question is changing, and if Stephanie Hein, Julia Haried or Elizabeth Engele have anything to say about it, those typical stereotype answers will become a thing of the past.
There has been great progress over the years, but consider that women make up half of the total college-educated workforce in the United States, however they are only 29 percent of the overall science and engineering workforce.
“One of the main reasons why girls aren’t interested in the STEM fields is that there is a lack of role models,” explains Stephanie Hein. “Young girls don’t see many women in STEM fields and because of that, they don’t see themselves pursuing those fields. If more women pursue careers in STEM, then that can serve as a significant source of inspiration for young girls.”
Founded in a social entrepreneurship class at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Co-Founders, Julia Haried and Elizabeth Engele, were inspired by the question “What bothers you?”
They want to inspire girls to be active in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, so that young ladies can begin that process of understanding that they can do anything that they can dream up or print out in this case. MakerGirl was created to inspire young girls to pursue STEM fields through 3D printing sessions.
Julia and Elizabeth hired Stephanie Hein as CEO of MakerGirl in the fall of 2018; Stephanie has her own unique story in how she became involved. But it was when Stephanie raised money through a Kickstarter program, and took the program on the road from coast to coast to inspire young girls to get involved⏤that changed everything!
The story continues on the Brink of Greatness Podcast…
The Next Leap Forward
Before her role as CEO, Stephanie Hein served as MakerGirl’s Engagement Director in 2016 and assisted raising over $30,000 through a Kickstarter campaign and organized #MakerGirlGoesMobile, a 10,000 mile cross-country road trip that brought 3D printing sessions to over 1,000 girls in rural and underserved communities across the country. They are preparing now for the next cross-country trip as they take to the road once again to raise awareness and help provide a path forward for the next generation of big-thinkers.