Updated: Aug 5, 2020
I’ve long found joy in partnerships and building community. Starting a small business in the era of Covid has required a village – seriously!
A partnership with STEM Gems – a small, woman-owned business that supports girls by giving them female role models in STEM – has been one of my most rewarding partnerships thus far. Spending a week with 25 middle schoolers was fun. Mindful discussions around risk-taking, gender stereotypes and the imposter syndrome pushed us to broach tough topics. Guest speakers challenged our campers to be bold, to pursue their passions and to seek trusted mentorship. Watching these young people trying new STEM activities – from making sundials and water filters to designing inclusive parks and insect mapping – each day was rewarding beyond belief. Their experience reminded me why I have loved biology since I was their age – that there is an entire planet (of deep, vast oceans and skies with intense weather patterns and rivers broader than interstate highways) to explore and understand. And maybe this experience, during a very challenging time, will be just the spark that is needed to set one of these young women on their path to becoming a scientist, an engineer, a doctor – and solving challenges that confront our world.
So, yes, our tykes become teenagers, and I feel so fortunate to work with partners like Stephanie Espy and STEM Gems that will stretch our littles when they graduate from Tyke Hike to make their mark on this world.