MY STORY

I decided that I wanted to design a program to provide kids with educational and convenient entertainment. My program would extend beyond learning how to type or write code and focus on bigger technological concepts such as critical thinking and creative building. Kits 2 Kids was built from the idea that STEM education should be available to children everywhere and anywhere in a simple and fun way. 

Our dining room turned into a workshop as I developed nine types of simple, portable kits, each of which provide an easy and fun STEM-based project.  I tried to make the instructions colorful, easy to read, and easy to understand. Each kit also has a corresponding video for visual and auditory learners. I was able to obtain funding through my school’s community service program and from a generous teacher who gave the kits to her own granddaughter who is being treated for cancer. I then had the opportunity to test my kits out with the third graders at my school, rendering the kits officially kid-approved!

So far, Kits 2 Kids has shared over 1,500 kits and held several in-person workshops at organizations including the Ronald McDonald House and the YMCA. Through donating my kits to children’s hospitals, pediatric clinics, and schools or daycares that serve underprivileged children, I hope to increase STEM literacy and inspire children to find joy in learning. Kit by kit, we can encourage all children to be interested in STEM!

Come join me on this journey!

Sincerely,

Ashley

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Five years ago, when I walked into my sixth-grade math classroom for an after-school Mathcounts session, I was startled to find that I was the only girl in the room. A few days later, I eagerly entered our school’s computer lab for a digital animation activity class to find a similar scene: I was the only girl among at least 15 boys. In robotics camps, math classes, and science competitions, I faced this same situation. 

I have always been interested in math, computers, and science, but the lack of girls involved discouraged me from attending science or math-related activities. Over time, as I began to explore ways to build girls’ interest in STEM, I realized that there are many other kids who may not have the opportunity or resources to explore and build their interests in STEM, including hospitalized and underprivileged children.