OECM supports innovation, progress and learning with dedicated Girls Who Game virtual space.
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, less than 50% of high school girls know a woman in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) career. The National Science Foundation notes that just 11% of STEM jobs are held by female minorities. Juxtapose this with the fact that as girls’ transition from elementary to secondary school their interest in science falls dramatically, and it’s clear that more needs to be done to guarantee diversity and equity in STEM-related fields now.
Enter the Girls Who Game (GWG) initiative, a joint Dell Technologies, Microsoft, and Intel extra-curricular program that focuses on empowering female students in grades 4 to 8 in learner-driven experiences that broaden their knowledge, skills, and dispositions within Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM)-related fields. GWG provides an opportunity for young girls and underserved students across North America to learn more about gaming and the use of Minecraft as a learning tool, while developing their global competencies, such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.
“The program and culminating challenges are deeply aligned with OECM’s core values of collaboration and innovation and OECM is proud to support this endeavour,” says John Sabo, OECM’s President and CEO. “We were eager to renew our commitment to the program this year, providing hosting for a Microsoft Teams collaborative virtual space that is accessible to all the participating GWG student clubs across North America.”
The dedicated OECM-hosted environment allows GWG clubs, including those from participating Ontario District School Boards, to efficiently communicate and collaborate with each other as they navigate through the program.
The GWG Spring cohort began in March this year, and clubs have been busy – recently submitting Level 1 Community Projects for judging and participating in Level 2 Leadership Activities. Earlier this month, 6 teams also participated in an exciting GWG STEM Esports Event. The tournament winner was announced at a virtual celebration on June 17th – an event that was live-streamed and shared through the OECM-hosted Microsoft Teams environment where all GWG clubs and their accomplishments were heartily celebrated!
“OECM is honoured to endorse programs that encourage innovation, progress, and learning, and we will continue to support endeavours such as Girls Who Game to ensure an increasingly equitable education system,” adds John Sabo.
Click here for more information about the program and OECM’s commitment since 2019. Watch this space for more news and updates!