It’s been a little longer than I would have liked for a blog post, but I did start a new job recently! I am continuing to work in Unreal, which is awesome because that engine keeps growing and there is so many ways to use it.
Over the past couple weeks, I put together a survey to help me gather more insight from parents and teachers. I was focused on how their girls (and students) where being exposed to STEAM and their passions in general. Here is the link to the survey. This was my first survey and I already received helpful feedback on how to set up surveys!
As of today, 61 people have responded – From parents of girls of all ages to teachers. Below is a highlight of the topics I want to tackle with this project. THANK YOU – to all of you that took the survey and helped share it.
Repeatedly, the comments mentioned Role Models. Whether it is fictitious characters, family, friends, or real life STEAM women, it seems that young girls are not being introduced to these role models. “Mitzy Makes It” needs to be a role model for young girls, someone they admire and want to be or be friends with. If many young girls like princesses – then why cant those princess be building the future?
As we all know, there is an abundance of content out there for kids. Often times, the STEAM based content is STEAM first, then girls. “Mitzy Makes It” will put girls first – their interests, the way they learn and problem solve. This will be the biggest section of iteration. From the children’s book, to the game, to the hands on activities – these all need to be tested with girls. Making legos pink is not enough – it is taking into account their passions, how they learn and create, and what brings them joy. A huge take away as well, was access to content. As this project grows, I want to create a Free Resources section on the website, for teachers and families – whether it’s print out material or activities you can do at home – accessibility is very import. Parents and teachers shouldn’t have to spend $40 to expose their girls to STEAM.
The stigma/stereotype with STEAM is still very prevalent, especially at a young age. As mentioned before, all of these are intertwined – if they are seeing more role models and interacting with more content, young girls will realize they can break that stereotype and it can be as glamorous of a career as they want. The world of “Mitzy Makes It” needs to be fun, colorful, and loving. Mitzy will show that you can be glamorous, cute, silly, fun, and fashionable, all while building, making, creating, design the future. Why cant we do it all?
This survey taught me a lot – I think it’s time for me to dress up as a princess everyday and code (just kidding). Although, it has inspired and pushed me even more.