On February 22, Kara Boyer, Lead Engineer at Pinnacle, and Pearadox PISD Robotics held the Princesses with Power Tools event at Robert Turner College and Career High School. The event, which is for girls ages four to eight, introduces young girls to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics through interactions with women involved in the STEM industries. The women, dressed as princesses, exemplify that young girls can be interested in both science and princesses, a mindset that can be challenging for girls to maintain to as they grow up.
“As a female engineer, I see the need to encourage and foster this kind of creativity and imagination where girls can defy the norm and explore their passion for STEM topics,” said Boyer. “The Princesses with Power Tools event helps me step out of my comfort zone to inspire others to stay true to themselves by giving them the opportunity to develop their STEM knowledge and not feel forced to conform to societal expectations of what girls should be interested in.”
The Princesses with Power Tools event was inspired by Beauty and the Bolt, a non-profit that teaches young girls that science and femininity are not mutually exclusive. The Pearadox PISD Robotics team created the event to honor a Pearadox alumna who faced challenges that many young girls who are interested in both science and princesses face as they grow up. As a child, she was easily able to incorporate her love for both areas by creating her own princess, Paleontology Princess, but as she transitioned into junior high school, she began to doubt her STEM abilities. She joined Pearadox and began to rebuild her confidence. Now in college, she has recently completed her first co-op at the NASA Johnson Space Center and is on the pathway to being full-time after college graduation.
During the event, the girls were given a challenge to solve by the princesses. The girls were then taught how to use power tools, specifically small cordless drills, to solve the challenge and completed a small woodworking project to take home at the conclusion of the event.