Harpeth Hall School

Nashville, TN

With an Edward E. Ford Educational Leadership Grant, The Harpeth Hall School will have a transformative impact on the educational opportunities for girls by establishing The Center for STEM Education for Girls to increase participation by girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math studies in high school and college and to encourage them to aspire to STEM careers.

The United States is the first nation to land on the moon and the nation which developed the polio vaccine and invented the light bulb.  After decades of dominance in the scientific fields, American schools and universities must work to ensure this country remains competitive in the STEM fields.  Women are underrepresented in these fields, comprising only 26 percent of mathematical and computer scientists, and 11 percent of engineers.

The Center for STEM Education for Girls will accomplish the following:  

  • Enhance Harpeth Hall’s annual STEM for Girls Think Tank, which annually since 2007 has attracted 80 to 100 STEM curricular leaders from institutions nationwide.
  • Initiate and host a summer STEM for Girls Conference, which will augment the Think Tank’s successes and provide professional development for teachers, including those from underserved public and charter schools.
  • Develop a replicable summer STEM Institute for Girls, which will offer intensive experiences in STEM fields for girls primarily from non-magnet public schools and charter schools entering 9th and 10th grades in Middle Tennessee schools.

With the investment of the Edward E. Ford Foundation and in collaboration with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center - Center for Science Outreach, the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, Governor Bredesen’s Tennessee STEM Inventory Network Initiative, BioTN Foundation, and Nashville public and charter schools, we will bring together educational leaders together to improve STEM instruction and STEM opportunities for girls. We will collect research-based information and innovative best practices in STEM education for girls, acting as a “clearinghouse” for Harpeth Hall faculty and other educators across the country. Building upon the strength of our existing STEM program for girls, Harpeth Hall will champion the educational needs of girls as a group currently underrepresented in core STEM majors in college and in STEM careers.

Visit www.harpethhall.org for more information.