STEM Programs and Grants

“Girls and women are systematically tracked away from science and math throughout their education, limiting their access, preparation, and opportunities to go into these fields as adults.  The gender gaps are particularly high in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs of the future, like computer science and engineering.” – AAUW

AAUW State College is committed to promoting interest and achievement among girls and women in the STEM areas, funding several local STEM initiatives:

GaLS (Girls Love Science) – Bellefonte Area Middle School

This after-school program is for middle school girls in the Bellefonte Area School District. Participants explore STEM fields together in their classrooms, through in-person and virtual site visits with professors and grad students at Penn State University and local industries, and have the opportunity to meet female STEM professionals and learn about their career paths. Recent topics have included: Archaeology, Food Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Forest Ecology. 

Note: In addition to GaLS, AAUW State College sponsored CSI (Challenging Science Investigations), another after-school program for middle-school girls, with the State College Area School District. It was suspended during Covid and is not yet up and running again. AAUW State College would like to sponsor after-school programs in all the Centre County school districts. Please contact us at with ideas for making this a reality.

GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Camp

When The Rivet, Discovery Space’s makerspace, opened the staff noticed that parents weren’t signing up their daughters. In response, GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) was created to engage girls in skill building activities and projects that are often not offered to them. Over the past few years, GLOW participants have created projects and learned new skills in woodworking, metalworking, 3-D printing, and digital design. 

Middle-school girls learn that cooking has science too.


The AAUW State College STEM Committee, in coordination with Schlow Centre Region Library, sponsors Let’s Read Math, a multi-week summer program for elementary-age children. Each one-hour program begins with the reading of a children’s book that highlights an interesting math or science concept followed by an activity.


STEMPOWERED is an after-school STEM enrichment program hosted by Discovery Space for 5th and 6th grade girls in rural school districts. The program consists of multi-session modules that focus on a specific STEM career. Participants learn relevant vocabulary and content, then visit a local lab or business in that industry. They meet with female STEM professionals and get a taste of a day in the life of these women.

Left: Let’s Read Math boosts the confidence of children to participate in math, and uses reading skills to explore math concepts.


Empower is a networking and professional development conference hosted annually by the State College Chapter of Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) at Penn State University Park for students, post-docs, faculty, and professionals in the STEM fields. Empower provides participants with opportunities to interact with others from different backgrounds and experiences through small group discussions or activities. Speakers share various stories, experiences, and advice with attendees.

Envision is a Saturday event held in February/March. Area students in grades 6-12 are invited to spend a day at Penn State University Park to explore different career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A highlight is the opportunity to participate in three hands-on workshops featuring different research projects and networking discussions with Penn State faculty and students. Young girls and women are encouraged to pursue studies and careers in any STEM field that interests them.


AAUW State College funds scholarships to Science U.  Girls and young women who live or attend school in Centre County are invited to apply for a scholarship to attend a Science-U summer science camp at Penn State University. Scholarship applications for students entering grades 6-12 become available in mid-November on the Science-U website and require a short essay and a recommendation form completed by a STEM teacher. Successful applicants attend a free day camp focused on topics such as ecology, astronomy, genetics, materials science, and medicine.

2023 Video from Science U, taught by AAUW State College member Carline Crevecoeur, MD

A hands-on workshop at Penn State Envision gives students a chance to really experience working in the sciences.

Penn State Science-U Academy students learn that dissecting sheep brains can be fun!

STEM Mini-Grant Program

AAUW State College awards grants of up to $500 to local organizations, schools, and groups that propose STEM programs that will positively impact Centre County girls or women. Awardees are expected to acknowledge AAUW State College publicly for its support and to provide a brief follow-up report detailing the content, attendance demographics, and outcomes of the program. Electronic proposals and questions can be emailed to us with AAUW State College STEM Mini-grant Proposal in the subject line.

Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis.

Online Application

Mail Application