Girls Raised in Tennessee Science (GRITS) Project

Girls Raised in Tennessee Science (GRITS) was a National Science Foundation funded program under the direction of Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, Professor of Chemistry and Director of the WISTEM Center. The major goal of GRITS was to disseminate information about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers to young women in middle and high school, parents, teachers and guidance counselors. GRITS assisted other sites in Tennessee in starting and maintaining an Expanding Your Horizons Math and Science conference for girls in 5th through 8th grade.

Through a variety of activities and programs, GRITS offered support and guidance to exploring and understanding the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and careers. 

GRITS was the lead for the Tennessee "home" of the National Girls Collaborative Project. There is also a TB Girls Collaborative.

We strongly encourage parents and educators to explore the information on our website. Research has shown that parents and teaches can be a major influence on the success of children's educational and career pursuits. Women in STEM careers often site parents and teachers as being an important part of their reason for choosing a career in the science, technology, engineering or math field. We asked women in STEM degree programs, what advice would you give educators (teachers, guidance counselors, etc.) to help girls achieve success in math and science areas. Here are a few of their comments:

  • No less should be expected of females because of their gender.
  • Encouragement is the key. I know, from my own experience, that the enthusiasm and encouragement that I got from my teachers and counselor helped me to pursue my passion.
  • Help the girls to understand it. I was interested in science because it was my easy subject, if you can make it come easy to them, they will like it.

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Dr. Freneka Minter, Melissa Flowers, and Sharonese Henderson

Dr. Freneka Minter, WISTEM mentor and council member, was one of the two science and technology panelists at the Black Girls in STEAM Summit. WISTEM supported the summit by donating STEM related swag for the goody bags. WISTEM council members, Melissa Flowers and Sharonese Henderson, attended the event.

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