Brite First Time Experiences

Contributed by Viola Dube

This is my first experience with the Brite program and my first time writing a blog post.  When I was asked to lead the Brite program at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster and heard what Brite was all about I was extremely excited to be a part of it this year.  We actually got to run the Brite program in person at the club.  The participating girls, who also had never done Brite before, looked forward to the activities and guest speakers that the Brite program offered each day. It was so wonderful to see the girls stretching themselves out of their comfort zones and embracing the ice breakers and activities. 

Hour of Code Dance Party Speaking of the activities, the girls had fun with an Hour of Code Dance Party.  It was one of their favorite activities and didn’t want it to end.  They kept reprogramming a moose to perform different steps with different backgrounds and dance to different songs. Also, the block coding style of the dance party helped the girls get ready for the activity storytelling with Scratch which also uses block style coding. One of the girls in my group liked using Scratch so much she ended up using it for her STEM Dreams activity.    The Ocean game activity was an eye-opener for many of the girls in my group.  They were shocked to learn that the choices people make to save communities can destroy marine life.  The girls liked expressing their creativity in the Brite activities.

Ocean design related to Brite role model In addition to all the great activities, the Brite program was filled with STEM inspiring guest speakers for the members of the club that were participating in the Brite program.  The guest speakers were wonderful role models for the participating girls.  One member of the club participating in the Brite program was inspired by the guest speaker Leslie Townsell and her dreams of saving animals in the ocean.   Another participant realized she could combine her love of art with her love of math thanks to week one of Brite, Art X Science.  

A different participant was inspired by the astronaut Nicole Stott and would love to look for life on other planets. After listening to the guest speaker, Yamilée Toussaint Beach, a girl in my group wanted to learn more and thought programming led lights while singing would be cool. 

These are just several examples of how some of the girls at the club were inspired by the Brite guest speakers. I am thankful to everyone that made the Brite program possible and that I got to participate in it this year.  The girls were sad when it was over and already hope to be able to participate in it again next year.   Brite was a great experience and I had fun learning new things along with the girls participating. I would highly recommend this awesome program.  It can open new STEM doors to girls that they didn’t even know were possible. 

Viola Dube, Program Instructor at the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster