Paving the Way for Girls in STEM

A recap on SEA Girl’s Night


Seniors Harleen Kahlon and Rhea Ramankutty help out druing the take-home project. Photo by Melany Alas.

Melany Alas, News Editor

On November 14, the girls of the Space and Engineering Academy (SEA) hosted the SEA Girls Night from 3-5 p.m. in H-12 for middle schooolers who would be incoming Academy freshman girls. The event gave information and insight on what the next 4 years of High school will look like for female students who choose to go into the Academy. There was a casual and fun atmosphere with current SEA students, past alumni and teachers all socializing, having snacks and talking about the experiences they made in their years at the Academy with the possible future SEA students.

 The event was entirely student-run with volunteers consisting of female Academy members of all grade levels who took time from their schedule to recruit girls and share the opportunities and memories that made them so passionate about the subject. One of those volunteers, Senior Hadeel Abdul, said that the SEA program “is so much more than STEM focused classes, but a community where you can make friendships.” The close bonds of the volunteers made an impact on many of the Middle school girls, such as eighth grader Jazmin Hall who said she was “unsure of how she’d fit in with such fast paced classes and people” but after seeing and hearing how everyone looks after each other in the SEA she is “definitely going to try it out.”

The volunteers also made sure to give a taste of what projects and classes were in store for students who choose to go into SEA by setting up a hands on project, with the aid of SEA advisor Mr. Moehnke, for the girls to do. The project helped the students learn more of what the Academy had to offer class-wise and answered questions the students had regarding possible future assignments. The project also helped students learn more about the experiences of volunteers there, such as Natalia Bijak, a West High alumni who recently graduated from San Jose State as a Civil Engineer and “credits so much to the Academy” since she feels she would not have gotten nearly as much opportunities and experiences without the Academy. Bijak also hopes to inspire girls to go into science and engineering fields and believes the SEA Girls Night as well as the SEA in general is the perfect way to do that. By the reactions of the passionate students already in the Academy and those to come, Bijak’s aspirations are sure to come true.