Girl Scout Medha Aiyah, far right, poses with her STEM workshop vounteers in pink and the young girls who signed up to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math at the three-day camp. Photo by Jana Rossi

News

Scout passes on her passion for science

By From page A1 | July 12, 2017

What do you get when you have a passion for math and science, supportive parents, inspiring teachers and a desire to help others? Meet Medha Aiyah, a Girl Scout on a quest to make a difference in the world.

Medha is a Folsom High School senior and on her way to obtaining her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement award a Girl Scout can earn. In order to qualify for this award, the outcome of the selected project should make a lasting impact on a community issue. Medha decided to draw on her knowledge and passion in the science, math and technology areas for her Girl Scout Gold Award project.

Medha’s love of math and science began when she was in the second grade and over the years has won numerous science fair awards from the local to the international levels. She was most recently recognized by the National Center of Women and Information Technology and said she feels most grateful for that award, which validates her volunteer work in the math and science areas she is so passionate about.

It was while listening to a speaker at the Women In Networking conference held at Intel that she realized there was a huge gender gap in the math, science and technology fields. That was when she decided to gear her Girl Scout project toward inspiring young girls in the hopes that they too would find a passion in one or all of those areas.

The STEM Summer Workshop was then imagined.

Creating a curriculum that consisted of math, science and technology, Medha organized a three-day summer science, technology, engineering and math program at the El Dorado Hills Library. A day after posting the camp, there was a wait-list of fourth- through eighth-grade girls hoping to get into her class.

Using competition — who can decode a binary bracelet faster and games such as Binary Bingo and Hangman — Medha shared her knowledge in a fun and entertaining way while opening up the minds of younger girls to this important field.

Medha has a list of people that she credits for her successes and opportunities, but it is her parents’ support for which she is most thankful. “Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am,” Medha said.

What has she learned while working on her STEM project?  “One person can make a big difference.”

Jana Rossi

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