TechGirlz Alum, Ava Saydam, Starts School Club to get more girls interested in STEM

Annabel Cunningham, News Editor for Souderton Area High School’s newsletter, spoke with sophomore and TechGirlz Alum, Ava Saydam, about her role and inspiration for founding the Teach Girls Tech Club. The club was started last year at her school to encourage young girls to participate in more STEM related activities utilizing TechGirlz curriculum. The Teach Girls Tech Club, consisting of high school volunteers, meets during school and works to introduce middle school girls in the district to STEM opportunities, in hopes to broaden the female demographic in STEM careers. The full article was originally published August 12, 2020 on The Arrowhead.

Ava attended her first TechGirlz workshop in 5th grade where she recalls the warm environment of the workshop, as well as all of the cool things she learned. She went on to take many TechGirlz workshops throughout middle school including some topics like Lego Mindstorm robotics, virtual reality, and HTML/CSS. Ava shared that “the HTML/CSS workshop actually inspired me to take computer programming in high school because the workshop was so interesting.” The club held their first engineering activity right before Thanksgiving break for middle school girls, and are currently working on a coding session for sometime in February.

Ava performing a demonstration at school

“The goal of the Teach Girls Tech Club is to encourage elementary and middle school girls to take technology and engineering classes at the highschool,” Saydam said.

According to Saydam, there aren’t as many women as there are men in STEM related courses.

“I took Computer Programming I last year as a freshman,” Saydam said, “On the first day of school, it was shocking to walk into the classroom and see that I was the only girl in the room.”

The Teach Girls Tech Club meets throughout the month during 5 block in order to plan and practice lessons for girls in the middle and elementary schools.

“Our meetings are all about planning our next activity for the elementary or middle school girls,” Saydam said. “We hope to hold one or two more activities this year for them!”

Although the club is relatively new, Saydam is “very excited to see the positive impact the club will have on our school district!”