STEM Expo set for girls

Published 10:14 pm Monday, June 26, 2017

An educator with decades of experience is determined to bring STEM activities to more young girls in Suffolk.

The STEM Girls Shine Expo is being hosted at the East Suffolk Recreation Center on 138 S. Sixth St. on Saturday by Suffolk native Dr. Yovonda Kolo. The free event is for girls ages 7 to 10 to enjoy hands-on science, technology, engineering and math activities free of charge.

“I just want to build a program for young girls in Suffolk,” Kolo said. “My goal is to get them to participate in STEM so they can know that STEM is a viable pathway for their classes, and of course their careers.”


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The girls will build using Lego bricks and Keva planks. They will perform coding exercises and receive introductory robotics lessons. There will also be science demonstrations to introduce the basics.

Kolo said it’s important to expose young girls to these subjects at early ages to inspire lifelong confidence and enthusiasm for STEM learning.

“It’s really about exploration and getting them exposed and excited,” she said. “Early exposure definitely builds confidence.”

The Suffolk native has more than 20 years teaching and administration experience in Maryland Public Schools. She has been the supervisor of science and STEM for Calvert County Public Schools since 2009.

She organized a similar program last year in Minna, Nigeria, for young boys and girls. Sponsored by Time Out 4Africa, a nonprofit organization focused on learning encouragement, more than 30 young girls were exposed to robotics, experiments and coding, according to a press release.

She hopes to have similar results in the area of Suffolk in which she was born and raised. She said feedback from this first EXPO will improve what she hopes will become an annual program aimed at bringing more girls into STEM fields.

“It just begins to build their capacity for understanding what STEM is, what it has to offer and the career options it presents,” she said.

The program will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, with limited spaces and required registration by this Friday. Call 678-230-7484 for registration and other information.