Sarah Foster
Sarah Foster
Founder and President, STEM Like a Girl

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Close Up
  • What I Do

    When I first started my career as an engineer, I worked at a biotechnology company in the Biomaterials Department as a Research and Development Engineer.  I helped develop hydrogel polymers that could be implanted in the body after surgery to help wound healing and prevent adhesions from forming as the tissue healed.  These hydrogels could also be used to deliver drugs to a targeted location in the body.  I also worked for a small biotech company that made wound care materials for veterinary uses.  When I started, the company was growing and needed to increase synthesis of our wound healing hydrogel so I was in charge of the scale up and testing of several products.  

    Currently, I am the founder of a nonprofit organization called STEM Like a Girl.  Our mission is to inspire young girls to build excitement and confidence in STEM activities.  Despite efforts to get more girls and women into STEM fields, women still hold only 24% of STEM jobs in the US.  Studies show that girls as young as middle school are self-selecting out of science and math classes.  STEM Like a Girl works with elementary-age girls to introduce them to STEM activities and help them discover their STEM identity at an early age.  Our Parent-Daughter workshops provide hands-on STEM activities for girls and their parents as well as allow the girls to meet and talk to female STEM professionals to learn about what they do as scientists and engineers.  We believe that everyone can STEM Like a Girl!

  • Why Engineering?

    When I was in high school, I really liked math and science.  All my teachers told me to either be a doctor or a science teacher so I went to college as a pre-med major.  I quickly realized that I didn't want to go to medical school and one of my professors asked if I ever considered engineering.  It was at that point that my love of engineering was born.  I loved everything about engineering: getting a problem and trying to come up with solutions, working in teams, improving on things so they worked better or more efficiently.  In my career as a biomedical engineer, I loved that I could help patients and doctors by creating new devices or making something that didn't work well work better.  As the founder of STEM Like a Girl, I love that I can help educate the next generation of scientist and engineers.

  • School Days

    I got my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University and my master's degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University

  • My Day At Work

    When I worked in the biotech field, my days were spent mostly in the lab testing the hydrogels to determine which performed best and met the needs of the patients.  Now I spend my days planning STEM Like a Girl workshops which includes testing out different projects and activities.  I love that my job involves making oobleck, binary code bracelets, and prosthetic arms out of straws and clips - its so fun!

  • Best Part

    The best part about being an engineer is solving problems.  Most of the time, the solution doesn't come easily and there are a lot of "failures" that come first. But if you don't see them as failures and instead ask what you can learn from each attempt, you can come up with even better solutions!

Biography

Sarah has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Bucknell University and a masters in biomedical engineering from Boston University.  She worked as a Research and Development Engineer in the biotech field working on targeted drug delivery, implantable hydrogels, and hyaluronic acid based biomaterials for wound care. In 2011, she took on her biggest experiment to date, becoming a stay-at-home mom.  She quickly learned there is no scientific method or protocol for raising two energetic boys!  Sarah founded the nonprofit organization, STEM Like a Girl, in 2017 with the goal to introduce young girls to exciting, fun, and rewarding activities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). While leading a hands-on engineering project in her son’s elementary school, Sarah noticed less girls raising their hands or jumping into the activities than the boys.  She was surprised to see a gender gap at such a young age and decided she needed to do something to change this!  While not currently using her engineering expertise in a traditional sense, Sarah is passionate about educating youth, specifically girls, and their families in STEM activities and hopes to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

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Education
BS Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University; MS Biomedical Engineering from Boston University
Volunteer Opportunities
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
Latest Questions
  • Marielisa

    Added 5 days AGO

    I am currently a freshman in college and will be transferring to my dream engineering school (Georgia Tech) to get my bachelors degree (just that for now) in Biomedical Engineering and teach it someday. I had very good grades in high school (both in PR and GA) and have good grades now in college although Calc 1 is making me doubt how good at math I am and how much I love it and chemistry, man I can't wait to move on to physics just to escape chem. I know things will just get harder with physics ...
    Answers 1
    Sarah Foster, STEM Like a Girl
    Answered 1 day AGO
    Hi Marielisa,
    
    Congrats on getting into your dream school!!  I completely understand questioning yourself and I felt the same way my first year of college!  I went from being one of the smartest in my classes in high school to struggling with chemistry ...
    Read More
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