Jan
16
Giving Back BY Kim Skimmons
There are a few things we are passionate about, and we try to contribute our talents to them when possible.  In no particular order:
STEM and STEAM education

Promoting STEM/STEAM Education

For all kids, and girls in particular

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.  STEAM is the same with the addition of Art & Design, recognizing the importance of good aesthetic design in technology.

Technology jobs are the future. We all know that. There is also a growing, alarming shortage of qualified American students who can fill those jobs, and that’s a big problem. Girls are even more scarce than boys in tech education and careers.  I know:  I’ve spent my career in the male-dominated computer world — and I’ve loved every minute of it! Contrary to popular notion, the guys I’ve worked with through the years have been awesome and many are still good friends of mine to this day.

Those of us in technology need to commit ourselves to getting more kids, especially girls, to believe that they, too, can make a mark in programming, engineering or design. There’s so much exciting stuff going on in technology today, that there is a place for anyone with the curiosity, desire and drive to be part of it.

People who can create technology are the industrial tycoons of the next generation. Where Andrew Carnegie built bridges and rails out of Pittsburgh steel, this generation will build bridges and rails out of bits and bytes that literally reach all corners of the earth and even the stars. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that!

What can we do?

Some things that I’m involved with are:

  • Talking to kids
  • Raising awareness among young people of the vast array of STEAM career opportunities
  • Tearing down conventional stereotypes of the nerdy engineer/programmer
  • Tearing down conventional stereotypes that it’s “too hard” to get into STEAM fields
  • Promoting STEAM careers to students
  • Advocating in the schools through PTSA’s for more STEAM opportunities for students
  • Getting girls excited about programming, engineering and technology-related careers
  • Working within school districts to make computer programming a required course for all students
  • Fundraising in PTSA’s to get more technology in classrooms and provide funding support for STEM-related curricula
  • Promoting computer programming and digital arts through after school clubs
  • Leading by example.

Critters for the Cure helps women fighting women's cancersCritters for the Cure

Help our sisters in need right in our local community

The name Sister Webs started as a reminder of our commitment to assisting women’s cancer causes. My oldest sister is a cancer survivor, as is my cousin. Other “sisters” I know were not as lucky. We all know someone.

Cancer takes an especially difficult toll on women who are often mothers, caregivers, and important wage earners. Their inability to work or perform their family duties can oftentimes devastate families both emotionally and financially.

Critters for the Cure is a wonderful local charitable organization that assists women in need of temporary financial assistance to pay rent or utilities; helps provide costly wigs to those who cannot afford them on their own; arranges foster care for pets while their owners are undergoing treatment and are unable to care for them; connects women with “cancer navigators;” assists women re-entering the workforce post-treatment with resume writing, interview skills, etc.; and so much more. We wholeheartedly support their efforts.

Please visit their website for more information.