November 8, 2021
Jaiden Booth, a junior high school student at Hanna, Elk Mountain, Medicine Bow Junior / Senior High School, attends a MakeHERspace camp in Hanna last summer. (Photo by Emily Haver)
A Carbon County 4-H educator uses MakeHERspace workshops to erase this bland stereotype of girl’s sugar and spices and replace it with accomplish and suck.
Trained under the MakeHER Scholar program at the University of Wyoming, Emily Haver, a UW Extension educator based in Rawlins, was among the first group of volunteers who brought back what they had learned to their communities.
Volunteers have run STEM / Maker workshops and camps aimed at inspiring young girls to stand up when they fall, however many times it takes to be successful.
“They now offer programs statewide,” says Jane Crayton, director of the Coe Student Innovation Center at UW.
The MakeHER Scholar program was created by the center and 4-H in partnership with the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance. Funding is provided by the STEM Next Foundation as part of the Million Girls Moonshot program.
Volunteers received $ 1,500 in grants.
Makerspace is a term for the space where manufacturing takes place, and MakeHER is the program she runs to get girls into manufacturing and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), Crayton says.
“Volunteers learned to involve girls in STEM education, conceptual thinking and designer education, with an emphasis on the option to participate in learning experiences,” she says. “MakeHER fellows learned best practices for delivering single-sex programs for girls and co-ed programs where boys also learn behavior to empower their female peers. “
Crayton is seeking participants for the second group of MakeHER Fellows to form in 2022. For more information and to apply, visit www.wyafterschoolalliance.org/makeher.
MakeHER fellows attended a distance learning course that included hands-on, project-based activities that encourage learning by doing, a motto of 4-H.
“They sent us a whole box of kit materials so that we could actually do the hands-on projects that we were then going to run and teach,” says Haver. “And that made all the difference and made me believe in STEM and the designer movement.”
Haver says she is passionate about advancing girls’ education.
“We were all creators, and we can all be creators again,” says Haver. “And then, just encourage the girls to fail – try, try; fail, fail; try again. It is the incapable part that the maker movement is striving to totally demolish. If you believe yourself to be capable, you are automatically less vulnerable to outside dissenting voices and natural obstacles.
The MakeHER Scholar training trained the trainer.
“This sense of discovery, this feeling of ‘I can do that’ is exactly what this grant was supposed to create in young girls and make sure it is created in the teacher,” Haver says.
She adds that the MakeHER 4-H grant was an opportunity for the Carbon County 4-H program to reach young people who are not involved in traditional 4-H projects.
“I especially enjoyed the chance to interact with members of communities where I don’t work very often because they are remote or very small,” she says.
Haver partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Carbon County to run a girls’ camp in Rawlins, and she ran a girls’ and boys’ camp in Hanna, which was combined due to the overall lower numbers there. .
All camp equipment and snacks were funded by the 4-H MakeHER scholarship program.
“I like to build that self-confidence by being able to do things with your hands that I think kids, in general, don’t have a lot of these days,” Haver says. “That’s what really attracted me to the maker movement, is that we were all makers. If something broke, you fixed it. If you needed anything, you did.
The goal is to develop a belief in girls that they are capable through experiences that teach skills in a supportive environment that allows a girl to fail and try again, she says.
“It’s something difficult,” says Haver. “It’s also difficult for adults to do. Were scared. We don’t want to fail. But you only succeed if you fail a few times first.