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Middle and high school girls from Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN) recently participated in a STEM focused science fair in Dallas at NorthPark Center. The Girls Innovate: YWPN STEM Challenge, is a unique take on a science fair, providing an opportunity for students from across YWPN’s statewide network of schools to use their creativity and problem-solving skills to improve real world situations they believe can be enhanced with STEM applications.

This year, 14 middle and high school teams totaling 56 students competed in the Girls Innovate: YWPN STEM Challenge. The girls worked throughout the fall on their projects with the STEM Challenge culminating with an event at NorthPark Center that showcased the girls’ innovative projects.

“Only 24% of all STEM professionals are women,” said Lynn McBee, YWPN Chief Executive Officer. “To improve this statistic, YWPN develops STEM programs and partnerships to enhance the school district curriculum at our statewide network of schools. The STEM Challenge is a great way to spark our girls’ interest in STEM subjects and possible careers in these fields.”

YWPN is a public-private partnership that supports and uplifts public schools by using private donations to support mentoring, leadership training and college counseling needs that add the extra layer of support these young women need to make it to college. YWPN works to break cycles of poverty that have spanned generations by creating first generation college graduates in underserved communities with high earning potential. YWPN provides top-notch STEM-focused education in an all-girl classroom setting that provides the unique opportunity for young women to operate outside of any perceived societal gender bias and prepares young women for college, a professional career and life.

The 2018 STEM Challenge was sponsored by NEC, NorthPark Center, PaperCity Magazine, McCarthy Building Companies, Sammons Enterprises, Joyce and Larry Lacerte/Exponent HR, Gensler, Thompson & Knight, Perkins+Will, Under Armour, Central Market, and Chick-fil-A NorthPark.

About Young Women’s Preparatory Network. Young Women’s Preparatory Network is the national leader in single-gender, college preparatory public education, with a 100% high school graduation and college acceptance rate. Young Women’s Preparatory Network partners with public school districts to open all-girl, college-preparatory public schools across Texas with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. To date, YWPN has opened eight schools in Austin, Dallas, El Paso (Ysleta ISD), Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Lubbock and San Antonio. The schools have received multiple awards including being recognized as among the best public schools in Texas and the Nation. To learn more about Young Women’s Preparatory Network, visit youngwomensprep.org.

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