UCLA in the Community

UCLA presents a day of science for girls from underserved schools


Approximately 100 female middle school students will come to UCLA on May 12 to gain hands-on exposure to fun and interactive applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Brain Research Institute, AWiSE STEM Day will welcome girls from three underserved schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Underscoring a range of STEM fields from neuroscience to physics, the day will feature more than 15 informational stations manned by UCLA graduate students from more than a dozen academic departments. The activities will demonstrate basic concepts in human brains, computer science, nanoscience, physics, environmental science and more. Demonstrations — ranging from from launching a rocket to holding a human brain — will be followed by a campus tour.

AWiSE STEM Day is the brainchild of Martina DeSalvo, a neuroscience graduate student, the Advancing Women in Science and Engineering (AWiSE) Foundation, and the EmpowHer Institute, a non-profit focused on empowering women and girls. The program is designed to allow low-income students to visit UCLA and learn about research.

“My motivation in organizing this event was to get more young girls excited about science before they form their own stereotypes about what it means to be a scientist,” DeSalvo said. “There is a huge need for more interactive science programs to expose kids to STEM fields in a fun and engaging way.”

The goal is to inspire participants to pursue higher education and careers in the STEM fields. The program also brings graduate students from a variety of STEM disciplines together to foster outreach collaborations and raise awareness of careers in the neurosciences.


Tuesday, May 12
9 a.m.–12 p.m.


Gonda (Goldschmied) Neuroscience and Genetics Research Center, first floor conference room; Gonda building courtyard; and the California NanoSystems Institute, first floor lobby, on the UCLA campus (map)


Mark Wheeler, UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations, mwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu, 310-794-2265 or 310-562-8843 (cell)

Media Contact