HORSHAM – The Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation’s (HHEF) Girls’ STEAM Kick-Off will be held at Keith Valley Middle School at 8 a.m. and Hatboro-Horsham High School at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. Anita Castellar, CEO of Fangirl Consulting & Brand Management, LLC, and former product developer for Disney’s Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, is the guest speaker at both events.
During her presentation, Castellar will share her educational path and career journey in a STEAM field, and the experiences and challenges she faces as a woman.
“I am hoping to give these young ladies the head start that my generation did not have growing up,” said Castellar. “My goal is threefold: education, inspiration and aspiration. I want to educate them on the various technical and creative careers that exist today, which did not in the past. Inspire the same creativity in them that I found in myself and my colleagues throughout my career as a toy product developer and licensing executive. And, hopefully, they will aspire to seek out more information and pursue these careers.”
Some of Castellar’s notable accomplishments include launching the “Build Your Own Lightsaber” experience for a Star Wars attraction, leading the hardlines licensing business for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, and starting her own business, Fangirl Consulting & Brand Management.
All 600+ girls at Keith Valley Middle School will attend the 8 a.m. presentation with an aim to attract sixth graders so they continue attending Girls’ STEAM events throughout school. Attendance is optional for the high school’s presentation, which is a lunch-n-learn at the library.
“The goal of the Kick-Off is to encourage our girls to follow their interests in STEAM, open them up to new career possibilities, give them inspiring role models and connect them with peers of similar interests,” said Stephanie Yoder, executive director of the HHEF.
Since its launch in December of 2016, the Girls’ STEAM Series has had a positive impact on Hatboro-Horsham’s young women. In a 2018 HHEF survey, 72% of female students said attending a Girls’ STEAM program inspired them to consider a career in STEAM.
The HHEF will host nine Girls’ STEAM assemblies and lunch-n-learn programs at the middle school and high school levels this year. Previous guest speakers are Dr. Morgan Cable, research scientist at NASA, Brittany Shipp, meteorologist at NBC and Janelle Benjamin, Hatboro-Horsham alumna and one of the co-founders of SuperData Research, a market intelligence company in the digital gaming industry.
The high schoolers will also attend offsite experiences where they tour companies that guest speakers work at and gain more insight to working in a STEAM field. In the past, they visited aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin, communications technology company ARRIS and manufacturing company AMETEK.
Keith Valley Middle School is located at 227 Meetinghouse Road, Horsham, and Hatboro-Horsham High School is located at 899 Horsham Road, Horsham.