William Blair was thrilled to host a group of elementary-aged students from Girls 4 Science for a unique hands-on learning session on 3D printing with MakerGirl. The session aimed to inspire young girls to explore the world of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The firm’s Women’s Alliance sponsored the event at William Blair’s global headquarters in Chicago. Colleagues paired up around 20 girls to design 3D-printed creations using Tinkercad, an online 3D modeling program.

"The MakerGirl event helps show young girls the options they can choose from for studies or careers,” said Beth Pekol Porto, co-chair of William Blair’s Women’s Alliance. “We’re supportive of any opportunity we have to help educate students who may already be thinking about their futures.”

MakerGirl's Kathryn Daemicke, William Blair Women's Alliance Co-Chairs Nathalie Markovits and Beth Pekol Porto, Girls 4 Science Founder and Executive Director Jackie Lomax, and William Blair Women's Alliance Honorary Advisor Kristina Blaschek attending the event and working with 3D printers.

MakerGirl focuses on educating the next generation of makers through 3D printing and CAD design workshops. Their vision explains that "every girl is a MakerGirl—a girl who lives and dreams as an unstoppable force, saying ‘Yes!’ to challenges of the future.” Founded in 2014, the organization has educated over 6,700 students in 30 U.S. states and four countries outside the U.S.

Similarly, Girls 4 Science focuses on developing skills, self-esteem, opportunity awareness, and relationship building to help girls overcome barriers that may prevent them from achieving greater success in STEM careers. Over 500 Chicago-area girls have been served through Girls 4 Science.

To Kristina Blaschek, the Women’s Alliance honorary advisor, the event also provides a way for colleagues to engage with organizations that positively impact the cities in which we live and work.

“Sharing our collective experiences and passion for technology is a fun way to give back to our communities,” said Blaschek, who also serves as the director of business and technology solutions for William Blair Investment Management.

William Blair’s Women’s Alliance aims to create a collaborative environment for sharing ideas, professional development, and awareness of the importance of gender diversity across the firm and in the broader community.