Passport and Project Scientist teach girls about STEM
Imagine you have to explain to someone how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Sounds simple, right? Put peanut butter on one slice of bread, then jelly on the other and smash the two pieces of bread together. But is that enough information for someone who has never made a PB&J before? What if you were reading an instruction manual for a new product and it only gave one sentence to explain a concept that was new to you? To give clear instructions for a PB&J involves a little more detail: pick up the jar of peanut butter, unscrew the lid, grab a knife, use a knife to scoop up peanut butter, spread the peanut butter evenly on bread, and so on.
This month, Passport hosted nearly 40 elementary-aged girls at their uptown Charlotte office to teach them the importance of giving clear instructions, how to use creativity for problem solving, project management and other valuable skills, during a fun-filled expedition day with Project Scientist. Project Scientist is a non-profit that engages and empowers girls with a passion, talent and aptitude for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The two organizations have a long, connected history. Passport CEO Bob Youakim and Project Scientist CEO Sandy Marshall were neighbors around the time that both organizations were founded and the two companies have come a long way over the past eight years.
“We are proud to partner with Project Scientist to teach young girls about STEM careers and showcase our fun, hard-working, and collaborative company culture,” said Bob Youakim, CEO of Passport. “By supporting organizations like Project Scientist, we hope we can build a future workforce led by female engineers, product managers and marketers.”
In addition to the PB&J activity, Passport employees planned a full day of activities to teach the girls about the variety of STEM careers, from developer and designer to project manager and marketer. Girls designed their own app logos that represented their personality and used logic to decode an encrypted message. Beyond the important STEM skills, the Project Scientist participants learned about how to work together to solve problems, something that Passporters do every day as they collaborate and overcome challenges as a team.
Throughout the day, Passport employees were able to showcase to future STEM professionals the company’s work hard, play hard philosophy. While all of the activities were educational, Passport made sure to keep fun at the center, with interactive games and a visit from our Chief Revenue Officer, Khristian Gutierrez, dressed in a banana costume!
Passport is excited to continue its partnership with Project Scientist, showing girls in Charlotte the possibilities that await them if they choose a STEM career path.