Vanguard STEM

#WCWinSTEM: 3 STEM Sisters

The 3 STEM Sisters are fun-loving girls in a STEM learning lifestyle. Before they’re done, you’ll love STEM too!

#WCWinSTEM: 3 STEM Sisters
The 3 STEM Sisters (Kibali — Left, Nuria — Center and Neema — Right) at their first World Maker Faire in New York (September 2017). Image credit: 3 STEM Sisters.

The 3 STEM Sisters, Kibali (11), Neema (8) and Nuria (3) are living their best STEM lives and can’t wait to take up space; as in literally, they all want to go to space and fill different roles. Learn more about the way they fell in love with STEM and what they hope to accomplish with an early start in all things tech.

Responses may be edited for brevity and clarity.

#WCWinSTEM: 3 STEM Sisters
The 3 STEM Sisters at Discovery Museum while waiting for their 3-D printed case to use for one of their Arduino Nano projects. Image credit the 3 STEM Sisters.

Tell us about some fun experiences you’ve had in STEM.

The first time we got interested in STEM was when were being creative with Legos and our parents told us that what we were doing was engineering. Once, we were baking with my mom and she made us realize that baking is chemistry and math. When we participated in Hour of Code, we enjoyed it so much that we are currently learning about coding with using Python, Javascript, HTML, MIT App Inventor 2 and Arduino.

Another day that we really enjoyed was our STEM fun day at the World Maker Faire on September 23 and 24, 2017, in New York. We got to see many people that were passionate about STEM and it was a mind-blowing STEM experience!

The highlight of the day was coding with Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi is an open source code-able platform that lets you create games, robots and more. We think this was a fun experience because it inspired us to want to learn more about open source technologies and how to use them. We will definitely go again, to take part in the greatest “show-and-tell” on Earth, and are even thinking about being presenters!

Going to the Maker Faire inspired us to do more STEM activities and learn about 3D printing. We watched a STEM presentation by a young maker named Allie Weber. After the Maker Faire, we have invested more in 3D printing and even developed a couple prototypes using 3D printing! Also, we had a unique experience working with Move38, a company that makes STEM-based games like Troxes. We helped the owner at his booth and enjoyed sharing to the audience. We did such a good job that we had the opportunity to help out again at this year’s Maker Faire in Westport, CT.

What projects or activities are you currently working on or involved in?

#WCWinSTEM: 3 STEM Sisters
Kibali (11) and Neema (8) pictured here creating “Time in a Bottle” and “Galaxy Slime” using STEM concepts at the Discovery Museum. Image courtesy the Discovery Museum.

We recently got invited to STEMtacular, which is an event hosted by the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, CT and Jack and Jill Inc. We were featured as guest panelists for the Young STEM Trailblazers session. We spoke about our love for STEM and why it’s important for future careers. We had a booth at the event to showcase to the public how to incorporate STEM at home with puzzle, legos, coding, rubik’s cubes, snap circuits and Arduino boards. We understand that science is everywhere — especially in nature — where we love exploring. Technology helps us in various ways from the alarm clock to the games we play on our tablet. Engineering helps us to solve various life problems like the computer we use. Math is everywhere from the money we use to the measurements we need for our favorite pancake. Those are various ways we make STEM relevant in our everyday lives.

#WCWinSTEM: 3 STEM Sisters
Kibali and Neema pictured here learning more about drones at one of Discovery Museum’s Space Days. Image credit the 3 STEM Sisters.

Do you have any woman of color in STEM sheros? Who and why?

Kibali (11) — Taylor Richardson, because she wants to be an astronaut and she raises money to help other children see Hidden Figures and Wrinkle in time.

Neema (8) — Misty Copeland, because she inspires me to do dance and not give up.

Nuria (3) — Dr. Mae Jemison, because I want to be an astronaut like her.

Who do you consider to be your support system?

Our parents are our main support system because they always encourage us to follow our passion. Our dad is a software engineer and our mom majored in computational science. We think that helps us because they always encourage us to be interested in STEM and to not be afraid to be smart.

Discovery Museum is also a support system because lots of the things that we do there inspired us to make projects based on the fun learning we experienced there. For our STEmtacular project, they allowed us to use their 3D printer so we could print the items we designed on Tinkercad.

Church is where we also get the confidence to be who God called us to be and have faith that with hard work, we can achieve the impossible.

#WCWinSTEM: 3 STEM Sisters
Nuria (3) leading a rocketry experiment with Kibali (11) and Neema (8) providing moral support. Image credit the 3 STEM Sisters.

Are there institutions, groups or organizations you would like to give a shoutout?

There are several folks we’d like to shoutout: our parents, our church, our amazing school teachers and principal, our local library and our local science museum, the Discovery Museum.

Why do you think it’s important to highlight girls of color in STEM?

We should highlight more girls of color in STEM because black girls need to know that they can do anything they desire as long as they work hard at it.

We think more girls would be interested in STEM when they see more girls as examples, because it shows that we can be anything we want. They would say, “I can do it too.” We wish more girls knew how much fun and cool STEM is.

We are fortunate to have our dad teach us coding and it helps us learn at our own pace without having to pay for courses. However, we also Google and watch a lot of Youtube videos to help us learn. We have many opportunities to collaborate with organizations like Discovery Museum or Maker Faire because of the platform we built sharing our love for STEM.

What’s one piece of advice you have for other girls of color in STEM?

Be fearless and proud in your passion of STEM because you never know who you will inspire.

What are your dream careers?

#WCWinSTEM: 3 STEM Sisters
The 3 STEM Sisters pictured here with their newest tech gadgets. Image credit the 3 STEM Sisters.

Kibali (11) — Originally I wanted to become an astronaut, software engineer, princess, president and entrepreneur. Out of all those careers, I mostly wanted to be an astronaut and aerospace engineer. I both love space and coding, so I wanted to do both at the same time. One day, I was searching the web and I saw aerospace engineer on a list of STEM careers. (Editor’s note: Hey Naia, look who else found aerospace engineering by way of a google search!)

Neema (8) — I want to become an aerospace doctor because medicine and space combine things I like to do.

Nuria (3) — I would like to be an astronaut because I would like to go to space with my sisters.

Our other goals for the future are to develop a product to help people and write a book to inspire girls in STEM. We also want to learn more about STEM in everyday life; and have fun doing it!

What else are you passionate about?

Kibali (11) — family, STEM, aerospace, robotics, viola, african dance, programming, helping others with STEM.

Neema (8) — family, STEM, dance and teaching others about STEM.

Nuria (3) — family, being astronaut and a ballerina.

Dance and playing viola are our outlets to also be creative. We enjoy teaching about STEM because we realize how fortunate we are to have parents who encourage us to pursue our passion.

You can find more of the 3 STEM Sisters’ videos on their youtube channel and follow them on instagram. (Also big shoutouts to their parents, who manages these girls’ page!)

Thank you to the 3 STEM Sisters for being adventurous, STEM-loving sisters and for sharing your passions with us and with the world. We can’t wait to share more of your videos and welcome to the #VSVillage!

If you enjoy our weekly #WCWinSTEM features, consider donating to our parent not-for-profit, The SeRCH Foundation, Inc., to help support this work.

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