Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton is challenging Kentucky to get more girls involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers. Seventy-one percent of all jobs in 2018 will require STEM skills; yet only twenty-four percent of females in the U.S. are currently represented in these fields.
STEM careers offer very competitive wages and salaries; in fact, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women with STEM jobs earned thirty-three percent more in 2014 than comparable women in non-STEM jobs. The challenge is designed to bring awareness to the opportunities females have in STEM fields.
The Commission on Women, an office of the Governor, began the multi-week STEM Challenge in January 2017 at two Lexington middle schools -- Leestown and Tates Creek. Thirty-two young ladies participated in the first STEM program pilot and are now part of the Lt. Governor's STEM Squad (LG STEM Squad). After a successful first year, Verizon Wireless has teamed up with the Commission on Women to expand the program to 8th graders at Leestown and Tates Creek as well as 7th graders at Olmstead South and Westport Middle Schools in Louisville. The program's goal is to inspire and challenge girls to use their natural curiosity and intelligence to uncover a passion for STEM fields through hands-on learning and career exploration.
Each of the six STEM Challenge sessions will last two hours and will be held at the student's school after the last class is dismissed.
Lt. Governor's STEM Squad at Leestown Middle School work together to complete an exercise.