Philly elementary school celebrates National STEM Day, urges girls to participate in coding club

Nov. 8 marks National STEM Day to encourage kids to explore interests in science, technology, engineering, and math.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- November 8 is National STEM Day, and for students at John Moffett Elementary School in Fishtown, STEM (which stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is a part of their every day.

Students in Kindergarten through fifth grade participate in some form of STEM classes, but there is an emphasis on the school's coding program.

"I'm learning about microscopics and programming," fifth-grader Taylor Auburg said.

Fifth-grader Taylor and her best friend Lexie Rivera enjoy participating in Mr. Michael Demeno's coding class. The two are also a part of a unique club that meets every Monday before school called Girls Who Code.

"Once Mr. D said it was about gaming I got excited and I asked him if I could sign up," said Rivera.

Girls Who Code is a global program to encourage more girls to go into STEM-related fields. The mission is to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer traditionally looks like. Girls in the club learn everything from programming remotes to building characters.

"They notice as students get older girls tend to lose interest in STEM and STEAM, so I noticed here at Moffet my coding clubs the numbers of girls is always low," Demeno said.

Principal Rodney Johnson said every student at Moffet participates in some form of STEM class. He is also on board with encouraging more girls to go into STEM.

"We know a lot of girls don't go into STEM early on. So this is an opportunity for girls to learn skills but also self-empowerment," Johnson said.

Both Taylor and Lexie said they enjoy coding but aspire to go into other aspects of STEM. Lexie aspires to become a pediatrician and Taylor wants to become a scientist.
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