Menlo’s Bridge to Engineering, Science, Math, and Technology
M-BEST seeks to foster enthusiasm and passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and to create confident leaders in the STEM fields and the world, with a particular emphasis on girls. The M-BEST program serves both Middle and Upper School students, developing a community of learners and providing a network of professional role models, teachers, and students to strive for greater gender balance in STEM fields.
The program consists of daylong workshops in STEM topics, which include speakers from the professional or academic world and hands-on activities. Older students mentor younger ones and have the opportunity to serve as Teaching Assistants and workshop leaders. Students may also intern in local labs and work on a yearlong project. M-BEST Abroad allows small teams of students to teach STEM topics beyond the Menlo campus, either locally or internationally.
According to the American Association of University Women, while girls are graduating from high school with more math and science credits than boys, they tend not to pursue those disciplines in their collegiate or professional careers. And the National Science Board tells us that workforce projections for 2018 by the U.S. Department of Labor show that nine of the 10 fastest-growing occupations that require at least a bachelor’s degree will require significant scientific or mathematical training. Many science and engineering occupations are predicted to grow faster than the average rate for all occupations, and some of the largest increases will be in engineering- and computer-related fields—fields in which women currently hold one-quarter or fewer positions.
The M-BEST program seeks to reverse that trend and create confident, passionate female leaders.