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GiSTEM Week 2023: Girls Regulate!

Sixteen participants will evaluate and find a solution for the Tier 2 water shortage along the Colorado river in this week-long virtual summer program.


[Richmond, VA – April 10, 2023] – GiSTEM Week (GW) is a week-long virtual summer program held annually. Strong women in STEM and business (B) fields share their experiences throughout the week in order to highlight the key elements of the topics discussed each day. The accepted participants (rising 8th–12th grade girls) can interact with women in STEM + B disciplines and see someone who represents their race, culture, and gender. New ideas that can be applied immediately as well as in the future are presented to the attendees. The ideas are instantly applied during their week-long capstone project.


Image - GiSTEM Week 2022


This year, GW highlights the issue of water shortage in the states along the Colorado River. The Biden administration recently revealed that water shortages along the Colorado River had, for the first time, crossed a threshold that will necessitate historically large-scale water cuts in Arizona and Nevada as the historic drought in the American Southwest drives the country's largest reservoirs to record lows.


According to a report by the Washington Post, “The largest reservoirs in the country have lost three-quarters of their water as a result of the Colorado River's decline, and it is now getting closer than ever to the point where it won't be able to support hydroelectric dams and millions of people will run out of drinking water and irrigation supplies. The agency is ordering water use reductions that will reduce the amount of water that Arizona receives by 21%, Nevada receives 8% less water, and Mexico receives 7% less water as a result of its declaration on Tuesday that the Lower Colorado River Basin has reached a "Tier 2" deficit.”


Image-Colorado River (source: https://binged.it/3KpNXs3)

The region has been experiencing the greatest drought, which has lasted for 23 years, in more than a millennium. As the climate warms, the mountain snowfall that supplies the 1,450-mile river has been rapidly declining. As soils become drier, runoff is absorbed before it reaches reservoirs, and intense heat events occur more frequently.


Sustainability, in this regard, faces significant obstacles from a warming globe. By definition, human actions that cause climate change are not sustainable since they modify the planet that supports all of our needs. Nevertheless, climate change also makes it more challenging to come up with long-lasting answers to other issues.


The rise of climate change and its adverse effects demand a deeper understanding of sustainability and the methods involved in creating a sustainable future. Therefore, this year, GiSTEM Week is highlighting the Tier 2 water shortage and involving the youth to evaluate the issue. The participants (16, rising 8th-12th girls) will assess this problem and create a solution to present on Presentation Day at the end of the week.


A GiSTEM representative explained the details of GW, “The participants will be divided into groups. Each group member is given a position in a fictitious company called GiSTEM Systems, Inc. A message alerting the staff about a contracted business opportunity is sent out by the fictional organization's vice president. The groups then put the new ideas into practice, conduct efficient research, and assess potential solutions. Three judges listen to each group's presentation of their research proposal. The judges are often made up of a sponsor, a volunteer judge, and a subject-matter expert. The participants are graded based on the group's presentation, substance, and delivery.”


GiSTEM, Inc. will survey the participants before and after the program to assess how their original interest in STEM and business has changed.


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Image - GiSTEM Week 2022 Team Photo

GiSTEM, established in January 2019, is a nonprofit organization that works for girls who desire to become STEM professionals. They share the fundamental skills needed for girls to be prepared and successful in STEM-based careers. They ensure that each girl has exposure to resources, obtains transferable skills and develops the mindset to be a STEM professional.


Event Details

Name of the Event: GiSTEM Week 2023: Girls Regulate!

Event Date: July 10, 2023 - July 14, 2023 (9:00 AM - 4:00 PM); Presentation Day - July 15, 2023 (10:30 AM - 12:00 PM)

Hosted by: GiSTEM, a nonprofit organization that works for girls who want to become STEM professionals.

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