FEATURE: Smarties in STEM

Women in STEM produced a school wide science fair for all STEM clubs in Free state


Junior Yael Gillath speaks about her project to fell students at the Women in STEM Showcase hosted at Free State on April 5, 2023.

Maeve Nichols

When co-presidents juniors Hannah Stone and Yael Gillath started the women in STEM club last year, their goal was to work together to get people to feel more comfortable in STEM. Through this, the women in STEM club organized the very first science fair on April 5 in the commons.

The event lasted about an hour, having students go around and learn about the STEM clubs. Each club had a booth with all the details about what the club entails. Getting people into STEM was a big goal for this event.

When planning the event, women in STEM were in contact with other STEM clubs such as biomed club, pre-med club and team STEAM, as well as administrators to plan the event. 

All of these jobs were behind the scenes work. They met every Wednesday to divide the tasks they needed to complete to hold the event. 

Organizing the event was tricky, but we persevered with a lot of planning, structuring and overall navigating schedules,” Gillath said. 

The women in STEM club wants to include people who have been shunned from the STEM universe. Hannah Stone stated Women in STEM is aiming to make marginalized groups familiar with these subjects and provide them with opportunities in these categories. 

“As far as I know, there has never been an event like this at Free State,” club sponsor and biology teacher Sara Abeita said. ”We get to dream big and design the event how we want to.” 

When hosting a brand new event, it was difficult to find people to participate, and ensure that they knew what it was about. The STEM club spent time emailing and networking to get the word out. They created interest forms for those who would like to participate in the event. 

“Having an event where you need people to participate to make it work is nerve racking; we don’t know what to expect,” Abeita said. 

Women in STEMs main goal was to publicize STEM clubs and get people to see what they like. Stone said exploring your interests at a convention like this is an accessible way to join a club.

“It’s an opportunity for students to express themselves outside of class,” Stone said. “We wanted people to be able to explore their niche interests in STEM.”

Moving forward Women in STEM are planning on continuing their biannual outreach with the public library, as well as working on interactive activities  with elementary students.