Students Share Their Experiences in Business and Technology at the Third Annual Girl Scouts in STEM Day
Undergraduate students at the Ross School of Business and the University of Michigan recently organized the third annual Girl Scouts in STEM Day, a day for local Girl Scouts to experience STEM-related careers. The free event was held at the Google Ann Arbor office.
The goal of the annual event is to expose girls at young ages to careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math to begin to close the gap of equitable representation of women in STEM careers.
Anjalee Patel, BBA ‘23, Lauren Pietryga, BBA ‘23, Ismail Bazzi, BBA ‘24, Grace Yan, BBA ‘25, and Obiara Ugwu-Uche, LSA ‘24, worked together to plan this year’s event. The students are members of the Michigan Community Leaders Program, an organization established in 2014 with the focus of helping to bridge the digital divide for both small businesses and nonprofits.
Approximately 70 girls in grades K-12 participated in STEM-focused activities and experiments tailored to their grade levels, which included robotics, AI, coding, science, and online safety.
The Girl Scouts also took part in an interactive panel where they could learn from and ask questions of students from various majors like business, mechanical engineering, and computer science.
“We went around and talked about each girl’s strengths and what they want to do in the future,” said Patel, co-leader of the event. “And having this event at the Google office really allows them to dream big.”
Exposure to STEM fields at a young age may significantly impact the future direction of many girls’ careers.
“I think the tide is starting to turn with girls in STEM fields,” said Blair Marshall, program specialist at the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan. “It wouldn’t surprise me if current first graders are in the generation that will have more equitable representation in STEM professions, and that’s exciting to be a part of.”
Applying course knowledge to make an impact
Applying what they’ve learned in class, the team was able to share their college and work experiences and give the Girl Scouts valuable insight into what’s possible for them.
“We were able to talk to them about the impact of making positive choices in the tech realm, using concepts of business that we’ve learned in ethical AI classes like TO 300, and the technology behind social media that we’ve learned in MKT 322,” said Patel.
Partnering with the community on events such as these help demonstrate the core belief at Michigan Ross that business can be a powerful force for change in the world.
Lessons learned in the planning and execution of this event are something that BBA students can also apply to their own careers after Ross.
“Working with several groups, we were hearing a lot of voices, and strong collaboration was necessary to make the event successful,” said Patel. “Collaboration is big at Ross. We are always working in groups, and in the business world you are always collaborating with teams. So, this was a good experience that we can definitely use in the workplace.”