The Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. Courtesy of the center

Middle school-aged girls can now get their STEM on!

The Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park is now accepting applications for the Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering also known as the “BE WiSE’ program through Feb. 7

BE WiSE is a free program that engages girls grades 7-8 in science, technology, engineering, and math or learning experiences in collaboration with the region’s research, industry, and academic institutions.

BE WiSE sparks interest in what is referred to as STEM through interactions with female professionals and leaders, increases the participants’ opportunities in and knowledge of STEM fields of study, and develops a community of girls engaged in science learning throughout middle and high school. 

The goal of the BE WiSE program is to engage girls in free STEM learning experiences through real STEM-related work, situations, and hands-on learning.

Once accepted into the program, girls will interact with successful women currently working in STEM-related careers while attending workshops held virtually at STEM companies, local universities, and research facilities. 

Girls in grades 7 and 8 may now apply for BE WiSE; applications submitted must include a teacher recommendation and a personal essay to be considered for the program. Once accepted, BE WiSE girls will attend a welcome event and orientation as their first activity and will be invited to various STEM workshops throughout the year. 

“Although I had always had a strong admiration for scientists and engineers because of their vast knowledge and innovation. I couldn’t imagine myself in their position until I became a part of BE WiSE. I had always thought STEM was a male-dominated field that made no room for girls like me until my 7th-grade teacher encouraged me to apply to the Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering program,” said BE WiSE alum Clarissa Jacobo.

“Looking back on the moment I was accepted into BE WiSE, I had no idea how great of an impact being a part of this incredibly strong-knit community would have on where I am now. My journey went from attending workshops where I connected with engineers to attending the College of Engineering at the University of California Berkeley as a Bioengineering Freshman. I know that one day my hard work will pay off, I’ll work in a career doing what I love, and hopefully, I too can be as inspiring as the women I met at the BE WiSE panels.”

In 2021, the Fleet Science Center accepted 120 girls into BE WiSE and hosted 30 events throughout the year. Currently, there are 720 girls in the BE WiSE program in six different cohorts. 

To apply and for more information, visit www.fleetscience.org/application

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