Liaison: Liz Fox
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November 6, 2016

Earthquake Camp Instructor Kay Wyatt, Central Oregon Coast NOW (COC NOW) President Nancy Mead, COC NOW Vice President and STEM Committee Chair Jan Eisele, and COC NOW Treasurer and STEM Committee Member Michele Walters receives grant from the Siletz Charitable Fund

The Central Oregon Coast NOW Foundation was awarded a grant from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Fund of $1661.00 to be used by the Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Committee for its planned 2016 Earthquake Camp for girls.  The camp will provide central Oregon coast middle school girls with the opportunity to learn and use engineering, geology and math skills to make a seismometer to measure the earth’s movement.  They will learn what causes earthquakes and tsunamis, what steps to take to make sure they and their families are safe, and also will make earthquake/tsunami preparedness kits that they will be able to take home.  Depoe Bay geophysicist Kay Wyatt will be leading the camp.

The camp is part of the STEM Committee’s work to interest girls and young women in STEM subjects and careers.  Women are way underrepresented in STEM fields.  This means that a lot of potential talent is missing from from these fields.  It also means that women are losing out on more lucrative careers.  Overall, women earn only 79% of what men earn.  Women in STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in non-STEM occupations and experience a smaller wage gap relative to men.

In addition to the Engineering Camp, the STEM committee also hopes to conduct a “Starry Night” astronomy camp for girls during the summer of 2016. Central Oregon Coast NOW has helped sponsor two girls robotic teams, and also the 2015 GEMS (Girls in Engineering and Marine Science) Camp.  Some of the STEM committee members have served as mentors for the Newport Science Fair students, and as judges for the MATE ROV robotics competitions.  In addition to the Siletz Tribal Charitable Fund, NW Natural has also been a major contributor to the Central Oregon Coast NOW Foundation for its STEM programs.