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Columbia County Observer

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Hours of Cnty 5 Meetings Highlighted by STEM Girls

Taylor Dampier: "The program has opened up my eyes to things that I never would have imagined doing."

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL –  Last night, the highlight of 4½ hours of County 5 meetings was the appearance at the County Commission meeting of two of Columbia County's STEM Girls. At the microphone, Taylor Dampier explained the importance of the STEM program for girls, as she gestured to fellow Robotic team member Sarah Griffin (seated).

What is STEM?

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

Sarah Griffin explains why STEM is important and important to her.



Sarah Griffin told The 5 this was her first year on the team and explained with enthusiasm that the Robotics Team took a tour of the UF mechanical engineering program.

Read about




Taylor Dampier: Team Captain

Taylor Dampier, the captain of the Columbia High School Robotics Team, explained that the girls are concentrating on girls, beginning at the grade school level, "showing them what it means to be a part of an engineering program or a robotics team and getting them involved to pursue a STEM career."

She emphasized, "A lot of times females don't feel that they can do things like that."

She explained that students that have been in the Robotic Team/STEM program have attended Purdue, MIT, and the Naval Academy.

She said she wants to pursue a biomedical engineering career when she graduates from high school.

She explained that the program teaches "soft skills, such as public speaking, teamwork, and respecting deadlines."

The Importance of STEM for Girls

She told The 5, "The program has opened up my eyes to things that I never would have imagined doing."


After the presentation your reporter asked Taylor's mom, Becky, if she had any idea how she was going to pay for all of her daughter's education.

She smiled and said, "We're working on it."


See: Girls Got STEAM: Build Racecars

Read more about STEM and STEAM: STEAM =
Science – Technology – Engineering – Art – Mathematics

"It’s true that STEM is crucial. Four out of five college students said they decided to study STEM in high school or earlier, and STEM helps students develop deductive reasoning, problem solving, and reasoning skills.

STEAM supporters say that adding arts into this focus will expand STEM’s benefits.

Ninety-three percent of Americans said they believe the arts are crucial when it comes to offering a well-rounded education to today’s students, and 86 percent said arts education helps improve children’s attitudes about school.

STEAM studies help develop and strengthen creativity and innovation skills, communication and collaboration, and flexibility and adaptability."


Read:  STEM vs. STEAM: Why The “A” Makes a Difference 

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