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Museum of Discovery Receives Funding to Greatly Expand Girls in STEM Program

Little Rock, Ark (February 7, 2017)– The Museum of Discovery announced today that its Girls in STEM program, which seeks to encourage girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers, will serve more girls in 2017 and expand to Jonesboro and Pine Bluff thanks to grants from Walmart, Best Buy and the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas.  Grants and private donations totaling more than $46,000 will allow the Museum of Discovery to grow the program this year to six weeks and serve an estimated 180 girls, ages 11-14, free of charge.

Girls in STEM gives participants a week-long opportunity to explore STEM careers as they engage in hands-on activities led by female STEM professionals, ultimately encouraging them to continue their STEM studies and even pursue STEM careers.  The Museum of Discovery has made this program a priority as there continues to be a major gender gap in STEM careers with men far outnumbering women.   A 2016 study by the National Science Foundation found the greatest disparities occurring in engineering, computer science and the physical sciences.

For example:

35.2 percent of chemists are women;

11.1 percent of physicists and astronomers are women;

33.8 percent of environmental engineers are women;

22.7 percent of chemical engineers are women;

17.5 percent of civil, architectural and sanitary engineers are women;

17.1 percent of industrial engineers are women;

10 colza6d.7 percent of electrical or computer hardware engineers are women; and

7.9 percent of mechanical engineers are women.

“I look forward to working with the girls in the program this year – participating in hands-on activities and also helping them understand the opportunities there are for women to succeed in STEM fields,” says Dr. Bishawn Morris, a pediatrician and member of the Museum of Discovery board of directors. “There are many societal factors that discourage girls from pursuing STEM education and STEM careers, but there is no doubt girls are equally capable in these fields. And the museum’s Girls in STEM program is reinforcing that fact to all the girls who participate.”

The program has expanded each of the last two years.  Fewer than 30 girls participated each year from 2013 to 2015, and in 2016 Girls in STEM expanded to serve 90 girls, including 30 past participants during an alumni week.  With six one-week sessions scheduled and the program expanding to Jonesboro and Pine Bluff, the Museum of Discovery is meeting its plan to grow Girls in STEM each year.

“We are happy that so many donors understand the potential life-changing value of Girls in STEM,” says Mia Stark, Museum of Discovery chief operating officer and the director of the program. “Their support will allow us to illuminate the possibilities of STEM careers to six times as many Arkansas girls this year as we did two years ago. And we hope to be able to continue to expand the program in the years to come.”

Girls in STEM is also supported by Southwest Power Pool, Dillard’s, Junior League of Little Rock, Eren Erdem and Phyllis and Ray Simon.  For more information on supporting Girls in STEM, call 501-537-3075 or visit

The Museum of Discovery will open the Girls in STEM application process this spring.  To learn more, email program director Mia Stark at

Museum of Discovery’s mission is to ignite a passion for science, technology and math in a dynamic, interactive environment.

Museum Information

Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 1-5 pm; Closed Monday

(open Mondays in the summer and on major holidays)

Admission: $10 adults; $8 ages 1-12; free under 1; members free

Phone Number: 501.396.7050


We are very thankful for our corporate sponsors.