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'Girls Who Game' encourages young girls in Fayette County to pursue careers in STEM

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Posted at 6:31 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 18:40:44-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — "Girls Who Game" is a new program that has been launched in Fayette County to encourage young girls to pursue degrees and careers in STEM.

Monday was the conclusion of a 6-week-long program that used the video game, Minecraft, to help the girls develop leadership and STEM-related skills.

This semester, 24 FCPS students in grades 4-8 participated in the program, which is a partnership between the University of Kentucky and Dell Technologies.

"The most important thing that I've probably learned is that it's hard to do things on your own so if you get help from other people then it'll be easy," student Delilah Choat said.

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"Gaming is a team effort completely and so all of the creativity, all of the communication, all of the collaboration, all of those are 21st-century skills that we want our students and young women, especially in this program, to be able to be proficient at," STEM learning coach, Ashley Faulkner, said. "And within gaming, you have all of those elements that you're sometimes missing in those traditional classrooms."

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She also explained why Minecraft, specifically, can help the girls learn those skills.

"The endless possibilities, the ability to collaborate both virtual and face-to-face, and then that creativity aspect where you have different elements that you could bring in," Faulkner said. "You could do chemistry, you could do coding, you can just build by yourself so there's just endless possibilities."

According to the American Association of University Women, "women make up 28% of the STEM workforce, and men vastly outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields in college".

"Girls Who Game" aims to help change that.

The program is designed to be 12 weeks long and is set to extend to that length of time in the Fall semester.

Faulkner said parents who are interested in starting this program at their daughter's school are encouraged to reach out to their school's technology teacher to see if they're willing to host it.

Currently, the program is in place at Millcreek Elementary, William Wells Brown Elementary, and Lexington Traditional Magnet School