Who We Are
Founded in 2006 by Vicki Weston, FEMMES (Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science) is a student-led education outreach organization whose mission is to engage young girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields through exciting hands-on activities and mentorship from female students and research faculty at universities. We have chapters at the University of Michigan, UNC Chapel Hill, and the Univeristy of Chicago, but Duke is where it all started!
The existing gender disparities in the STEM fields underscore the need for outreach programs to help engage young women in such areas. By incorporating engaging, hands-on activities into all of our programs, we allow girls to learn in a fun, supportive environment and explore their potential in the STEM fields. We hope to build our participants’ confidence in their academic skills and to empower them to pursue their dreams. Many of our students’ parents and teachers have told us that after attending FEMMES, the girls become more motivated, participate more in class, and show a greater interest in school. The real power of our program lies in the way we use female role models to demonstrate how women can and do excel in these fields. In all components of FEMMES, female students and faculty members volunteer their time to instill enthusiasm about their careers in the developing minds of young women. Through the years, our volunteers have developed personal relationships with the participants and have had a positive influence on their attitudes towards STEM fields. Our programs provide excellent opportunities for female faculty and students to serve as role models and provide mentorship.