Getting Girls in STEM

The STEM Portal is for IEEE Volunteers and serves as a resource for all things related to Pre-University STEM programs and activities. Here, you can share your STEM best practices and programs with IEEE’s global community of volunteers, find inspiration fromwhat others are doing, and utilize resources from this portal to develop or enhance your own programs.
Watch the STEM Portal Overview Video.

What is WIE STAR Program?

The IEEE Student-Teacher and Research Engineer/Scientist (STAR) Program was developed to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM.

How Will WIE Do This?

The IEEE Student-Teacher and Research Engineer/Scientist (STAR) Program was developed to address the growing concern that, at a young age, girls are discouraged from careers in mathematics, science, and engineering.


Need more ideas about how to reach girls? Download WIE’s “Top Tips for Attracting Girls to STEM” or check out the IEEE TryEngineering Volunteer Portal for more outreach ideas.

The STAR program includes the following reportable pre-university outreach:

  • Classroom Activities
  • Humanitarian Projects involving the pre-university community
  • Competitions
  • Hands on Activities
  • Training of pre-university teachers
  • Mentoring
  • Public Awareness Activities
  • Field Trips
  • Technical support networking
    and more…

IEEE WIE Panama STAR Program Video

Reporting Activities

  • Report all pre-university activities as STAR.
  • Update IEEE WIE and IEEE WIE Affinity Group websites.
  • Consistently communicate the brand of the STAR program when conducting pre-university outreach to remain unified in efforts and thinking, while adhering to the mission, vision, and goals of IEEE WIE.
  • Continue to promote the use of the IEEE Educational Activities TryEngineering.org resource for students to explore engineering. Also, to encourage IEEE volunteers to utilize the TryEngineering.org lesson plans since they are geared to help young people understand better what engineering means, and how an engineering career can be made part of their future.

Please send all reports along with images (jpg format) of the event to IEEE WIE.

Ways to Report Your Activity

V-Tools – report as a STAR Activity on V-Tools and log your activity by including the phrase “WIE-STAR” in the name of the activity. This will enable your activity to be recorded at your Section level and also by IEEE WIE.

The STEM Portal – share your activity, resources (optional) and feedback of your activity on the Try Engineering Portal to showcase your STAR Program to the whole of IEEE and its Partners and inspire others.


1. Identify a School

The best way to get started is to identify a school or group (such as a Girl Scout Troop) to work with. Some suggestions include:

  • School your children or friend’s children attend
  • School near your place of work
  • Many companies have educational outreach programs (commonly referred as K-12 Programs). By calling corporate headquarters at your company or the department of education at your university, one can find out about the established programs. Quite often these programs have relationships with local schools.

2. Visit the school and organizing the program

  • Call the principal or headmaster at your school of choice and introduce yourself.
  • Ask the principal to recommend an energetic science teacher who would be interested in this program.
  • Contact the teacher to set up a meeting.
  • Next, visit the school to speak and meet with the teacher.
    Be prepared to discuss a curriculum or plan for the mentoring activities.
    Some suggested activities are as follows.

  1. Bring a laptop computer and access the Web. By doing this, you can let the students become familiar with the Web and hunt down experiments of interest. The IEEE WIE Web site has a list of science and mentoring program resources.
  2. Set up a series of experiments to build or study something.
  3. Set up a field trip to visit your company, local university, or a local science museum.
  4. Coordinate best paper contests.

  1. Invite women engineers from industry and research institutes for a discussion on their experiences and careers.
  2. Invite the students to visit a local university research program that is involved with simple engineering projects.
  3. Work with the teacher to decide how many students to include in the program. IEEE has found that a program has a better chance to succeed if the teacher had previously selected students who may not have opportunities for involvement in programs such as STAR. The teacher will then ask the students if they would like to participate.

Important Requirements: IEEE Activities with Children

IEEE is committed to providing an enriching experience and safe environment for all children who participate in IEEE programs and activities, throughout the myriad of educational programs, STEM projects and related opportunities. If you currently participate in IEEE programs that involve working with children, or plan to do so, you must first visit the IEEE Activities with Children page to complete requirements.

Let us Know About Your Outreach