DelVal’s Sisters in STEM Club Inspires Female Empowerment With Local Partners in Bucks County

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Sisters in STEM club at Delaware Valley University
Credit: Delaware Valley University

Sisters in STEM (SIS), a student-organized club at Delaware Valley University (DelVal), completed a day of service at A Woman’s Place, a domestic violence organization in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

As club members were thrilled to partner with an organization whose mission focuses on female empowerment, they contributed their time and resources to renovate the shelter’s garden and landscaping.  

SIS club at DelVal was originally formed in the fall semester of 2020 when the club’s current President, Madison Osatchuck ’23, was sitting in one of her chemistry classes and was pleasantly surprised by the abundant number of female students in the class. “I looked up the female to male ratio at DelVal and at the time, it was 60 to 40. Then I looked up the female to male ratio in the workforce for STEM-related fields and the ratio dropped dramatically,” explains Osatchuck ’23.

“Females only make up about 27 percent of jobs in STEM-related fields. As a young, undergrad student wanting to go into the STEM workforce after I graduate, that really spooked me,” she adds. Surprised by these numbers, Madison was motivated to create a club at DelVal that was dedicated to uplifting and empowering women in STEM-related fields.

“The whole mission of Sisters In Stem is to empower, uplift, and inspire young women at the undergraduate level before entering the workforce to develop STEM skills. We also strive to teach communication skills and how to be an ally; we’re not going to bring another sex down to better ourselves. We focus on positivity and building each other up,” Osatchuck ‘23 emphasizes.

Members of the club meet about once a month and develop relationships with female faculty, inviting them to meetings to share their experiences in STEM, both good and bad, and to offer their guidance. The club also partners with local organizations to volunteer for days of service, like they did for A Woman’s Place in March.

“The volunteer manager from A Woman’s Place reached out to me and expressed interest in collaborating with SIS. She sent me a list of some things she had in mind, and their garden needed some refreshing so we decided that would be a great way to get involved,” Osatchuck ’23 recalls.

“I don’t know much about gardening, but a student who lives in the same dorm hall as me is a landscape major, Joseph Benavente ‘22. He sent me a list of supplies and really helped us prepare. I don’t know what we would’ve done without him, he was a big help,” Osatchuck ’23 reflects.  

Working together, members of the club refreshed the garden at a Woman’s Place by overturning dirt, removing weeds, supplying fresh soil, and planting specific species that the club felt would thrive this spring. Club members also brought in donations to benefit the organization and the women and children who benefit from their services.

“It was just a great day. We felt great volunteering and helping this organization and it really brought our members closer together. Most of our meetings had been on Zoom because of the pandemic, and we just started having them in-person, so this day of service was especially great to be back with our club members,” says Osatchuck ’23. “It was just a very feel-good day and we were so happy to do it,” she adds.

Looking to the future, SIS has many exciting plans. One of the most exciting events they’re preparing for is A-Day.  In addition to having a table at the event, the club is planning something special and partnering with a local girl scout troop to get them excited about all things STEM. “Our club’s advisor, Dr. Langston, who is a chemistry professor at DelVal, she is the troop leader of her daughter’s girl scout troop. We are teaching the troop about the life cycle of butterflies and SIS is sponsoring their Butterfly Badges,” Osatchuck ’23 explains.

“We are currently growing butterflies, the caterpillars are in my room, and we’re creating a presentation board about the project and we plan to release the butterflies on Sunday at A-Day. We also have a fundraising element planned too. This has been a great project because we’ve been able to encourage young girls by seeing older girls who are doing cool stuff in science,” she notes.

Encouraging females in all things STEM, the SIS club at DelVal continues to fulfill their mission as they inspire undergraduates and younger generations to pursue successful careers in STEM.

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