Young women all over New Orleans are gaining confidence as leaders, role models and programmers. At the Electric Girls program, girls get firsthand experience with electronics and technology by taking charge of self-directed projects. By working together to gain these valuable skills in the STEM field, these girls are poised for success.
Addressing A Need
After working as an audio engineer for four years, Flor Serna realized she didn’t have many female colleagues. Puzzled, she analyzed this issue for her senior thesis in an attempt to discover the point at which girls decide they dislike science and math fields as career choices. But Serna wanted to do more than just theorize, so she founded Electric Girls to help get girls involved in STEM fields at an early age.
A Day With Electric Girls
Electric Girls offers several different after-school, Saturday and summer camp programs. In general, the group first talks about what they want to accomplish, and then the girls implement their new skills in a self-directed project. They may work on anything from soldering to circuit building. The projects are not assigned, so the girls have free reign with their creations. For instance, some of the girls’ recent projects have included an automatic dog feeder and a bubble blowing machine, as well as light-up Halloween costumes.
The volunteer-run program has generated a lot of interest in a short amount of time. For instance, Electric Girls has already hosted two summer camps and served over 75 girls. In addition, the program has partnered with many schools in the Greater New Orleans area. And the program’s alumnae have already put their new skills to the test by getting more involved in their school’s robotics team, for instance.
At this time, Electric Girls is in need of increased funding to better meet the needs of the many schools that wish to partner with their organization. In the future, Serna would like to see the Electric Girls program continue to provide its service to schools all over the South.