About us

Who we are

Girls STEM Institute (GSI) provides young ladies of color, traditionally marginalized in STEM fields, an opportunity to develop an understanding of mathematics and other STEM concepts in a meaningful and culturally grounded context. Within GSI’s rich, rigorous, relevant, and ​supportive​ context, young ladies have the freedom to grow ​interpersonally ​and ​intellectually. Through GSI, young women have access to powerful STEM learning experiences that challenge them to think deeply and critically. As STEM learners, they are empowered to use STEM as a tool for personal and social change.  GSI also reinforces the importance of higher education and aims to help young ladies develop more positive perceptions of STEM and increase the flow of underrepresented groups to upper-level mathematics courses ​as well as other ​STEM-related degrees and careers. GSI is unique in that it focuses on the whole person through the integration of STEM learning with overall wellness and well-being.  Family and community engagement are the other main components of GSI. These components aim to help parents become more effective advocates on behalf of their daughters and help support the gains made by their daughters in Girls STEM Institute.

Our Goals

  • Engage girls and young women in culturally grounded, inquiry-based STEM curricula through hands-on and minds-on experiences
  • Instill girls and young women with the interest and confidence to pursue math or other STEM careers and engage in STEM-related extracurricular activities while providing opportunities to interact with STEM professionals
  • Empower girls and young women to understand how STEM related concepts can be used to address inequities in their personal lives and community
  • Increase girls and young women mathematics skills (i.e. problem-solving, number sense, geometry and measurement, and statistics)
  • Provide college and career readiness experiences
  • Promote the intellectual, social, physical, emotional and financial wellness of participants
  • Build authentic relationships/partnerships with parents and community stakeholders
  • Partner with parents as they advocate for their children

About the Founder

Dr. Crystal Morton

Founder and Director

Dr. Crystal Morton is an Associate Professor of mathematics education at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Elementary and Secondary Mathematics Methods, General Secondary Methods, and Assessment in Schools. Her research is driven by a passion to understand why Black female students are disproportionately underachieving in mathematics. This former high school math teacher has received multiple awards for her service, research, and teaching. Dr. Morton holds a BA in Mathematics, an M.A.T in Secondary Mathematics Education and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A Note From Our Founder

As a former K-12 mathematics student, college math major, high school mathematics teacher and current mathematics educator, I have experienced and observed mathematics instruction completely devoid of any real meaning. Pulling up any memories of engaging with mathematics during the myriad of courses and classes that addressed my lived experiences as a Black female math learner raised in the rural South is tough.   In my experiences as a high school teacher and mathematics educator, I have talked with several Black females –  some who love math, some who like it, some who just tolerate it and some who hate it – that share their lack of connection with school mathematics, the negative experiences they have in classrooms as well as not seeing how their mathematical knowledge can be used as a catalyst for social change.  It is these types of stories coupled with my lived experiences and the underrepresentation of Black females in STEM-related careers that lead me to create Girls STEM Institute.  Read more at [http://online.anyflip.com/gyamx/iqoj/mobile/index.html ]

Testimonial Dr. Crystal Morton
Dr. Crystal Morton
Founder and Director

Our Partners