Introducing girls to engineering all year long

Introducing girls to engineering all year long
By: ArcelorMittal Last Updated: March 18, 2020

ArcelorMittal proudly partners with the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana to introduce girls to the possibility of exciting careers in engineering. We’ve proudly partnered with the Girl Scouts of GCNWI since 2014, supporting their GirlSpace initiative in particular. GirlSpace is a year-round afterschool program that reaches approximately 1,100 girls in grades K-8 in Northwest Indiana (NWI). The goal of the program is for girls to gain modern and transferrable life skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, in addition to acquiring knowledge about subjects they may not study during the regular school day. 

A critical component of GirlSpace is STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, which is the cornerstone of ArcelorMittal’s community investment program. The girls conduct science experiments, design and build inventions, and learn about environmental science, technology, chemistry, biology and physics. This year, they’re putting a greater focus on the environment, increasing girls’ awareness of environmental issues and encouraging them to be stewards of the natural world.  

Girl Space program

These GirlSpace participants engineered a model bridge out of marshmallows and toothpicks.

ArcelorMittal’s own Chris Heinrich, director of customer service, has served on the Girl Scouts of GCNWI board of directors since 2019. She shares, “Both of my daughters participated in Girl Scouts through elementary and middle school. I saw first-hand the great experiences, skills and confidence Girl Scouts provides to young girls. When the board opportunity came up, I was thrilled to be able to support this organization that I had such good experience within a different way.” 

“Our partnership with ArcelorMittal is blending our two like-minded focuses on STEM education for ALL girls and increasing the impact for generations to come.” – Nancy Wright, CEO of Girl Scouts of GCWNI

In addition to our annual grant to Girl Scouts GCNWI in support of GirlSpace, we awarded them a one-time Building Resilience grant in December 2019. Our Building Resilience program is a unique initiative we started in 2017 to support traditionally underfunded areas that help build the long-term capacity of organizations.  In the case of the Girl Scouts, they’re using their resilience funding to help them strengthen the effectiveness of the GirlSpace program. They’re bringing on a consulting firm to evaluate the program and develop an actionable strategy to provide higher quality programming and experiences to better attract and retain girls. The result will be a program that has a deeper impact and the potential for expansion. 

“We have dedicated ourselves to delivering an inclusive model of Girl Scouting to all girls within our council’s region,” said Nancy Wright, CEO of Girl Scouts of GCWNI. “Our partnership with ArcelorMittal is blending our two like-minded focuses on STEM education for ALL girls and increasing the impact for generations to come.” 

As our long-term investment demonstrates, ArcelorMittal fully entrusts the Girl Scouts to introduce girls in Northwest Indiana to STEM.  “Having spent most of my career in the steel business, where we still don’t have enough women, it is gratifying for me on many levels to be involved with an organization that has such great focus on sparking girls’ interest in STEM,” Chris explains. We look forward to our continued partnership and the success of the GirlSpace program in years to come!