Girlstart 1

We saw an awful lot at SXSW, but one of our favorites had to be Girlstart. The Austin-based nonprofits’ mission is to empower girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They go about this mission in a variety of different ways: The Girlstart After school program; Girlstart Summer Camp; the STEM Saturday workshops; Community Science Extravaganzas; and much much more. Throughout all of these various programs, Girlstart was able to directly reach more than 16,000 girls, of which 96% paid nothing at all.

Founded in Austin, Texas, Girlstart is the only community-based informal STEM education nonprofit in the nation specifically dedicated to empowering and equipping girls in STEM through year-round STEM educational programming. Since 1997, Girlstart has served over 40,000 girls and 6,000 teachers and families with school-based programs, professional development for teachers, summer camps, STEM career conferences and expos, large-scale science events for families, and community STEM education outreach programs. Girlstart programs are open to girls K-16.1

We had a chance to swing by the Girlstart booth during SXSWEdu. We learned a little bit more about the initiative, their goals, and how the organization works. Check it out:


As a quick note, while researching this article, I came across a report that stated: “87 percent of participants of Project IT Girl [Girlstart’s after-school program] enrolled in a four?year university and 80  percent stated they will pursue a STEM major.”2 That is an incredible number!