Fifth Grader Finds Love for Art Through Engineering

Fifth grade was a really big year for Arielle at Gompers Elementary School. She participated in her first international STEM competition and was one of only 30 girls selected for the prestigious Girls in Engineering Academy in Detroit. Now about to enter high school, Arielle’s following her passions as she continues on her STEM journey.

It might not have seemed like it at the time, but when Arielle joined the all-girls team to participate in the SAE A World In Motion® (AWIM®) JetToy Competition along with 500 other students from around the globe, the experience helped lay the foundation for skills she’d need in- and out-of-the-classroom. She had to work together with students with different skill sets and academic abilities to find a solution. Even though it could be frustrating for everyone to have their own ideas, they soon realized they would finally have to agree on one thing if they were ultimately going to find a solution.

Later, when her team had to design and build a Lego Roller Coaster project as part of her hands-on STEM experience through the Girls in Engineering Academy, she again had to make sure everyone had a voice on the build. “When we’re working together as a group, everyone is the same. Girls can be smart too and do everything the boys can do and more,” said Arielle.

We know early access to STEM education can boost confidence, increase test scores, ignite potential, and most importantly open doors to new subject areas. Students quickly learn it’s okay to be passionate about math and art. That’s the case with Arielle who told her teacher she wanted to be a doctor, but has since explored engineering and now enjoys drawing and painting with hopes of one day becoming an entrepreneur.

For young students, figuring out what you want to do when you grow up isn’t a linear path. They need to try different things as they try to uncover their true passions. Therefore, it’s absolutely critical to provide as many meaningful STEM learning experiences as possible before high school.

Whether it’s engineering, art, architecture, or something else entirely different, wherever Arielle’s STEM journey takes her next there is no doubt all those experiences that started in the fifth grade at Gompers Elementary are going to prove to be invaluable.

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