The Fleet Science Center is accepting applications for the Better Education for Women in Science and Engineering (BE WiSE) program through Feb. 12.
This free program engages female and female-identifying students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning experiences in collaboration with San Diego-area research, industry, and academic institutions.
BE WiSE sparks interest in STEM through interactions with women STEM professionals, increases the participants’ opportunities in and knowledge of STEM fields and develops a community engaged in science learning throughout middle and high school—and beyond.
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, participants will interact with successful women in STEM-related careers while attending workshops at STEM companies, local universities, and research facilities.
The vast network of BE WiSE alumnae, mentors, and role models also help the younger BE WiSE cohorts develop can-do attitudes.
“BE WiSE granted me the permission to remain confident in myself through all adversities, especially in the science field. The tenacious, yet compassionate, females leading the workshops provided incredible examples and endless knowledge of their fields,” BE WiSE alumna Kamden Maas said.
She now holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biotechnology and a master’s degree in business administration, which she believes will help her eventually own her own biotech firm.
Female and female-identifying seventh and eighth graders can now apply for BE WiSE through Sunday, Feb. 12, with no extensions.
Middle school is an ideal time for students to develop their interests in STEM further, according to Colette Rossow, who joined 2021 BE WiSE cohort. As a middle-schooler, she was often told to wait until high school or college to explore her STEM aspirations, she said. But BE WiSE let her see her potential.
“I am not only able to learn more about science with other middle and high school students, but I also get to hear from scientists who had gone through similar experiences when they were younger and were able to continue and make positive changes in the world. Hearing those speakers makes me even more excited for the positive changes I can make.”
Applications submitted must include a teacher or mentor recommendation and a personal essay. Once accepted, BE WiSE cohort members will attend a welcome event and orientation as their first activity and will be invited to STEM workshops throughout the year.
Last year, the Fleet Science Center accepted 105 girls into BE WiSE and hosted 48 events throughout the year. Currently, there are 715 participants in the BE WiSE program in six cohorts.