BRITE Program Empowers BE-Ruth Girls in Science

Contributed by Kim Cook-Boyd

BRAVE, CARING, ADVENTUROUS, DRIVEN, SMART, DETERMINED, FLOURISHING, A THINKER, and CREATIVE are some of the Three Word Wonders the Be-Ruth girls shared as we kicked off the 1st week of the Brite Program. Art and Science was the theme for the week and the girls enjoyed attending live sessions with guest speakers, including a neuroscientist, photographer, biologist, and the Founder and CEO of STEM from Dance, Yamilée Toussaint Beach, who was one of the girls’ favorites.

The girls thoroughly enjoyed using Flipgrid to record the many activities they participated in during the Brite Program. Meet Ryan (pictured below), as she created her photo essay on Marine Life. On the left side, she talked about the great beauty of the ocean, and on the right side she shared how pollution causes creatures of the ocean to be sick and unhealthy. Good news, Ryan let us know that with the help of science, we can change it back to what it once was “the beauty of the ocean” less endangered and less sick.

Week 2 Danger!, included chasing tornados, exploring volcanoes and caves, the marine life of killer whales, and the great white shark. The girls were intrigued by the archaeologist, Becca Peixotto as she shared how she prepares to climb tight spaces in caves, while facing unexpected endangered creatures, and how she finds artifacts and bones of people who were left behind.

As the Be-Ruth girls end their final week learning about the brain as it relates to science, they heard stories from neuroscientists, including a violinist/composer, and researchers of the human brain as they studied different disorders such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety, and stress disorder. The girls had an opportunity to build and create their own brain model and showcase their work at our BriteFest celebration with Amy Sterling, who runs Eyewire, a crowdsourcing neuroscience game to map the brain. Please take a minute to check out their brain models.

Overall, the Be-Ruth girls said it was fun, a great experience, and gave them a different view of women in science. The Brite Program definitely sparked the interest of the girls to explore the science field as a career choice.

Kim Cook-Boyd, IBM Senior Software Engineer, is the VP of Outreach for Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Atlanta Professional. She is a board member of the Be-Ruth Foundation located in Georgia and is the STEAM Advisor. Be-Ruth Foundation also has a SWENext Club EmpoHer which is one of our STEAM programs. For more information, visit us at https://be-ruth.org/