EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Fernwood Middle School teacher Gina Wenzel is in her 18th year of teaching middle school and has seen girls have low self esteem and low confidence in the STEAM fields — science, technology, engineering, arts and math, Wenzel said in an email.
"Last year I started a Self ESTEAM Club after school, but can only offer it to sixth-graders due to our schedule. I also try to bring a group of girls to Stockton's Tween Tech every year, but can only bring 15 girls from the entire school," Wenzel wrote.
So she planned Self ESTEAM night to offer girls more opportunities to learn about STEAM activities and was able to use a PRIDE grant from the NJEA fund it, she wrote. This meant all the girls at Fernwood could be invited and attend for free.
Self ESTEAM night was held Thursday, Jan. 30, at the school.
More than 80 girls attended, she wrote. Each attended two STEAM sessions and on self esteem session. Parents were included too. The evening was rounded out with pizza and raffles.
"It was just such an amazing night that surpassed my expectations in so many ways. Not only was it great to see so many female students come together, but it was also amazing to the staff, community, and parents come together to help," Wenzel wrote.