Teaching Icon : Dr. Lisa Wicker
When it comes to learning something new, nothing beats a fun hands-on experience. There's something about physically engaging with what you're learning that makes things click. We’re so inspired by makers that bring science education to kids in a way that is fun and playful. That’s why we were so excited to talk to Dr. Lisa Wicker of Excel Village. Excel Village is a program designed to prepare kids for an amazing future, and to provide them the mentorship they need to get there.
Lisa reached out last year, as she wanted to have a fun experience for the girls in her Excel Village mentoring program. She thought Jewelbots Science Kits were a great fit as they incorporate science with the feminine and fun.
I recently sat down with Lisa and talked about her awesome experience with Jewelbits and the importance of younger girls learning STEM!
What inspired you to start Excel Village?
In 2015, my mother received her wings to heaven. Reflecting on her dedication to education and learning, I was inspired to name a scholarship for girls in her name. Given we had began the Career Mastered Women's Leadership Awards, we thought to have this program be the catalysts to support the Excel Village mentoring segment of the program. This is how we began.
Lisa and her STEM stars
What drives your goal to get more girls into STEM?
Having worked in automotive for more than 25 years as a production supervisor, in labor relations and in human resources, I learned first hand the importance of women understanding science, technology engineering and math. It opens doors and the possibilities are endless.
A very focused camper
What is the most inspiring thing you’ve seen at an event?
Our Excel Village STEM-FAB(c) Power Summit is inspiring because we bring together STEM with Finance, Arts and Business. Thus giving the girls in grades 5th-12th a holistic exposure to careers in all disciplines. We believe that girls in STEM should also be exposed to the need to understand. Watching the girls eyes light up when the neon signs work, is amazing.
How was using Jewelbits Science Kits at Excel Village?
Jewelbits was a big hit at the first Excel Village STEM-FAB Girls Power Summit. It allowed girls to have an interactive hands-on experience with science in ways that they may not otherwise have thought possible.
A completed Science Kit Neon Sign
Do you feel like the girls learned the lesson and had fun?
Yes, we had the opportunity to have adult Career Mastered women mentors with skills and experience in science and engineering work with the girls to explain the concepts behind neon and the importance of the elements.
What’s the one thing you would change about the world if you could?
That women would have an equal pay for the same knowledge and skills as men.