Headshot Photo of Elyse Forman
2019 Award Recipient


Project Girls in STEM

Location Los Angeles, CA

Issue Area Education | Gender Equality

It only had to happen once for Elyse to realize the truth. After being silenced in a high-level math and science class, the discrimination facing women in science, technology, engineering, and math became all too clear. Armed with a burning desire to make a difference, Elyse began to do some research. She learned about the gender gap and the cultural factors that play into its existence. Starting Girls in STEM, a weekly after-school program aimed at interesting low-income elementary school-aged girls in science and technology, was Elyse’s way of making a difference.

Using a curriculum she designed, built around hands-on experiments conducted as a group and follow-up experiments to do at home, Elyse matched her participants with student mentors from partnering high schools. Girls in STEM sparks a love of science, breaks down barriers, and opens doors for young women.

I began questioning the discrimination that occurred inside my math and science classrooms. These higher-level classes were dominated by boys who looked at us girls when we announced an answer as if this class was their domain. I decided to look into this issue and realized that it was a widespread problem.

Elyse Forman
A teen volunteer with 2 girl students at a classroom table doing a science experiment involving cotton balls.

Girls in STEM

Girls in STEM is an after school program that helps close the gender gap in science and engineering.