Louise McCarthy, CFO of WALT LTD, feels strongly about the importance of getting girls as well as boys interested in STEM: science, engineering, technology and math.
“When I heard about NIU STEM Divas,” McCarthy says, “I knew immediately that we wanted to help.”
WALT LTD became the first corporate sponsor of STEM Divas by donating safety equipment to the program. These aren’t your average hard hats, tool belts, and safety glasses, however. All have been manufactured in a bright shade of hot pink in keeping with what has become the program’s signature look.
NIU’s STEM Divas is helping to develop the next generation of women working in STEM fields.
Designed specifically for girls ages 7 to 10, the program provides opportunities for hands-on STEM explorations that embrace girls’ interests that are often pushed aside in the classroom. In the first classes last fall, STEM Divas created earrings on 3D printers and produced lip gloss while learning chemistry. New activities planned for the spring classes will require the “Safety First” equipment supplied by WALT LTD.
McCarthy knows a lot about the opportunities the STEM fields can provide: WALT LTD was founded by her grandfather; her son just earned an engineering degree; and her daughters are interested in the STEM fields.
“I realize that all girls do not have hands-on experiences with science and math outside of the classroom,” McCarthy says, “and I believe that STEM Divas can help make that happen.”
McCarthy was introduced to STEM Divas instructor Pettee Guerrero by Jim Doherty of OLT Marketing, who donates hot pink T-shirts for the STEM Divas. Guerrero was looking for high-quality safety equipment, and McCarthy understood the importance immediately.
McCarthy did not stop with the new supplies in her support of the innovative new program. She offered tours of the WALT LTD headquarters to STEM Divas class sections, and the first group of girls has already enjoyed seeing STEM principles in “real-world” action.
In business for more 50 years, WALT LTD is a family owned specialty precision tooling and fabrication company whose mission is to be a “highly innovative tool, machining, fabrication and machine building leader … that strives to provide quality services on a timely and economical basis.”
“It is people like Louisa and Jim, and all of the organizations and companies that lend their support through sponsorship, which allow us to continue to develop and provide high-quality programming to our community,” said Pati Sievert, drector of NIU STEM Outreach.
For more information on STEM Divas, call (815) 753-0533 or email [email protected].