A decade ago, our home was full of cribs and highchairs. Now, one-third of our children are teenagers. We’re deep into the phase where discussions include schooling options and future careers. Last month, several of our girls attended a special STEM program through Del Valle University.
New and Different Opportunities
We’re always looking for new and different ways to engage our kids and expand their education. Interestingly, the pandemic has opened new opportunities for some of our children.
In August, we learned about a new program through Del Valle University. In conjunction with the US Embassy, they created an introductory engineering program specifically for women. Even better, our older girls were eligible to attend!
Knowing our girls and their interests, we applied for program scholarships on behalf of Nayeli, Yohana, Jennifer, and Flor. These four girls are smart, love to learn, and have a firm grasp of math and science. Engineering, with its wide variety of subjects, seemed like a good opportunity for them. Plus, we’ve never done something like this with them before.
Thankfully, each of the girls was awarded a scholarship for the program. We gladly accepted the offers.
Did we make the right decision?
Classes about engines, electricity, and engineering aren’t something we normally do for our girls. Outside of what they learn in school, these aren’t subjects with which we’re especially knowledgeable. We knew the girls could do the classes, but would they enjoy the program?
Understandably, our girls were somewhat skeptical.
After sharing our confidence in their abilities, we challenged the girls to give the program a chance. We don’t get many opportunities to learn new subjects from experts. Plus, connecting with the university was even more special.
Curiosity peaked, the girls agreed to give the program a chance.
Within a few days of confirming their participation, four STEM kits showed up at Dorie’s Promise. Inside, each girl found all of the materials she needed to complete her lessons at home—gears, wire, clamps, batteries, and much more.
The only thing left to do was attend the virtual sessions in September.
Under the guidance of subject experts, our girls were exposed to a wide variety of engineering topics. The objects they use every day were connected to manufacturing processes. Machines were broken down into their components—motors, gears, cams, etc. They even learned how energy is transformed into electricity in a variety of ways.
Each lesson included hands-on activities, bringing the engineering principles to life. The girls built a wind turbine, prototypes, and an automation.
Lessons from STEM School
Best of all, our girls learned two important lessons that will impact the future of Guatemala. #1—Engineering isn’t just for men and boys. #2—Engineering offers solutions to help alleviate poverty!
We are all very proud of our girls for taking on this challenge. These opportunities will definitely help them in whatever career they choose in the future.
We thank Del Valle University for this opportunity and their support!