Madison nonprofit helps get more girls, kids of color into STEM fields

By Savanna Tomei - May 16, 2023 

MADISON, Wis. — A Madison nonprofit is working to ensure everyone is represented in the tech industry.

What You Need To Know

  • Maydm's mission is to get more girls and children of color interested in STEM fields
  • The tech industry is only 9% Black, and 8% Hispanic 
  • Access to education is a key factor in the representation gap 
  • Maydm hosts programs and summer camps where kids design their own apps and video games 

Maydm’s mission is to get girls and children of color experience in science, technology, engineering and math fields so they can enter those careers.

“I play video games at work,” Ben Pate said with a smile. “It’s an easy sell.”

Pate is the program manager at Maydm. They have weekly programming, but summer camps are really where students learn the most all at once.

“Our summer programs, we have five this summer, it’s STEMinism, Stem Power, STEM Scholar, Game Dev and Creators Lab. They all range from sixth grade through high school,” he said.

According to 2021 data from Pew Research, only 9% of the STEM workforce is Black, and only 8% is Hispanic.

“The tech industry is the fastest-growing segment of the economy, or one of the fastest. These jobs they pay well, they create great opportunities for people to find fulfilling careers,” said Carmelo Dávila, Maydm’s outreach manager. “Unfortunately, tech companies are not very diverse.”

A big part of the diversity gap in tech is because of access to education. With more opportunities to learn, more young people can follow the STEM career pipeline.

“Exposing kids to this exciting world of tech, but also helping them develop excitement and passion for it,” Dávila said of Maydm’s mission.

But Maydm does a whole lot more than just summer camps. They also offer internship opportunities. You can learn more about what they do here.

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