Women in STEAM coming next week

Deanna Bonn
Sierra Marie Bonn, left, first obtained a Governor's Proclamation from Governor Kelly, right, in 2019 while serving as a Candidate in the Miss America Organization as Miss Augusta.

Influential women in STEAM will be recognized with a weeklong celebration the week of October 12-18, 2020. “Women in STEAM Week” is a global event held each year in October and is officially recognized in Kansas with a proclamation from Governor Kelly.

Women in STEAM Week was created by Sierra Marie Bonn, a candidate in the Miss America Organization and founder of the non-profit organization “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” to honor the women throughout history who have paved the way for future innovators in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) and to empower the next generation of innovators.

Bonn first obtained a Governor’s Proclamation in 2019 while serving as a Candidate in the Miss America Organization as Miss Augusta. She currently holds the title of Miss Southwest 2020, and will be competing for the job of Miss Kansas next year. Due to COVID restrictions, in-person signings with the Governor have been cancelled this year and a Proclamation was issued via the U.S. Postal Service.

This year's celebration is a Virtual Women in STEAM Gala and begins on Monday, October 12th with speakers from across the country sharing STEAM education and engagement efforts, how to increase diversity and inclusion in STEAM fields and highlighting women in STEAM who they find inspirational.

"Let's Go Full STEAM Ahead!" is a nonprofit organization that promotes STEAM education and engagement to empower the next generation of STEAM leaders. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, and it has been used as a popular acronym in advocacy for an increase in STEAM education in schools.

“The intent is to increase creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and flexibility,” said Bonn. “We visit classrooms, camps, and college campuses to show that the Arts and the Sciences are not pitted against each other, they are infinitely and intrinsically related.” she said. “We highlight influential women who have been innovators in STEAM fields.”

To that end, Bonn wrote and illustrated a book “Innovators: Women in History who have made positive contributions to STEAM” to highlight influential women, raise awareness of their accomplishments, and show the next generation of innovators what they can accomplish.

The weeklong Gala is an extension of Bonn’s efforts to continue raising awareness and empowering the next generation to enter STEAM fields.

“According to a survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, of all the science, engineering, and high-tech workers in the U.S., only one in five are women,” said Bonn. “In order to change that number, we need to show young women their potential to become scientists, architects, computer engineers, artists, singers, marketers, and teachers. While incredible strides have been made, we still have a long way to go. Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” To view the gala, visit gala.letsgofullsteamahead.com

Sierra Marie Bonn conducts STEAM workshops that provide engagement through hands on learning experiences.