headline photo
Support Girls Inc. to provide innovative programs, activities, and advocacy.
Donate Now!

Operation SMART®

Girls Inc. Operation SMART® (Science, Math, and Relevant Technology) builds girls' skills and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We developed the program in response to a growing concern about the shortage of women entering careers in science, math, engineering, and technology. Recent studies show that:

  • Girls rate themselves significantly lower than boys on working with numbers, making decisions, and solving problems and only 7% of teenaged girls report that they intend to work in science, engineering, and technology (compared to 17% of boys).
  • Only 24% of college freshman women are majoring in the fields of math or science; fewer than 2% are majoring in the physical sciences; and fewer than 4% are majoring in the computer sciences.
  • In career choice, women comprise only 29% of computer and mathematical scientists; 45% of biological and life scientists; 24% of physical and related scientists; 55% of social and behavioral scientists; and 10% of engineers; in addition, women who are employed in science and engineering professions earn an average of 68 cents to 89 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

Girls Inc. Operation SMART® addresses these problems by offering girls positive learning experiences where they get to dismantle machines, care for and study insects and small animals, and solve logic puzzles. We succeed by assuming girls are interested in math, science, and technology, by expecting them to succeed, and by helping them get past the yuck factor and feel comfortable making big, interesting mistakes. Instead of struggling to get the boys to share the tools, in an all-girl environment girls can focus on the task at hand - and have fun while they’re at it.