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STEM expo set for young girls

Suffolk native Dr. Yovonda Ingram Kolo will bring back her Expo for girls interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics June 23 at the East Suffolk Recreation Center.

The Expo will feature activities like coding, building and science experiments meant to spark creativity and interest in STEM in young girls.

“We will have a basic introduction into coding and using a computer to work the activities,” said Kolo. “We want to get them excited about science.”

Kolo is also bringing Keva blocks for the girls to build and engineer things creatively along with LEGOs, and there will be typical household items to be used in easy science experiments.

Kolo is an educator in Calvert County, Md., but she wants to bring something back to her hometown. Kolo grew up in Suffolk and graduated from John Yeates High School.

She received her doctorate degree in educational leadership and focused her thesis on the underrepresentation of African-American girls in STEM fields.

“The most important thing is early exposure for females and minorities. I figure we can get them excited and expose them and they may be more interested to take classes as they move through school,” Kolo said.

Kolo believes there are more opportunities in the STEM field that girls are missing, and it is a lucrative career.

“I want them to be prepared and move in that direction,” Kolo said.

Last year, the girls got to go home with a goodie bag, and this year will be no different for those attending this year.

They will receive a certificate from the event and more information about what STEM is and promoting STEM.

“We want to promote STEM and basic skills of writing reading and communicating,” Kolo said. “We are emphasizing that school is important.”

Kolo will also send the girls home with a trinket related to STEM to remind them of the day.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to noon June 23 at the East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 S. Sixth St. The free event is directed toward girls ages 7 to 10 that are interested in having fun and exploring STEM subjects.

The event is free, but those interested must register, because there are limited spots available. More information and registration is available by calling 678-230-7484.