When we say girl group, you might think of Little Mix, the Spice Girls, or Blackpink. But we’re talking about a whole new gang who deserve their name in lights too.
The STEAM Squad are reinventing the wheel of friendship to show that girls can support each other academically not just when it comes to makeups and breakups.
Not only do they cheer each other on to follow their dreams, they also try to get other kids involved in science, technology, engineering, art, and maths too.
In the team, they have members who are reaching for the stars as aspiring astrophysicists, engineers, designers, geneticists, and even a wannabe astronaut or two.
Speaking exclusively to Uspire, one of the founders Julie Sage spoke about how they hope to inspire other young people to find their voice and go on to achieve their true potential.
Julie explained: “We want kids to feel empowered, like they can do anything, and that they are capable of amazing things.
“In adults, we want them to know that kids can do STEAM education [Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths] as well as they can, and that they should support them too.”
Julie herself is an absolute force to be reckoned with, ever since her love of science began at the tender age of six and she told her parents that she wanted to follow in the footsteps of Dr Stephen Hawking and Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson in studying black holes and exoplanets.
By the time she hit her 10th birthday, she had enrolled on a college level astrophysics course given by Harvard University. Oh, and did we mention her grade at the end was 96%.
Julie continued: “The response has been pretty positive so far. One thing we noticed is the sexist and other derogatory comments that members received have become less frequent.
“Another benefit is that when someone online finds one of the members, they also stumble across the whole squad, so they are able to easily find other amazing young people.”
Prior to joining forces, each member of the squad was already excelling in STEAM activities and studies, before connecting with one another in cyberspace.
Their union is a reminder of the powers that social media can bring when it works for good, as the idea for the squad came after several tweets by member Allie Weber.
She had initially taken to Twitter in response to a celebrity saying she loved her squad, with Allie replying “Nice squad but I like mine better” – tagging all her scientist and inventor pals.
Then, on the drive home from a space tech camp, Allie and her family were in a bad car accident on dark, rainy roads (fortunately, no one was seriously injured).
When Julie saw the tweets about the accident, she immediately reached out to the other people who Allie had tagged and said they should do something for her.
Julie explained: “We put together a video message of well wishes then added Allie to the chat group and told her that if she ever needed any help or support, that we are there for her.
“At this point, we realised how beneficial it would be to make this into an official squad where we could all help each other, and The STEAM Squad was born.”
In addition to Julie’s extraordinary talents, Allie is recognised as one of the top 10 young scientists in the United States following the creation of patent-pending Blow Dart Spirometer, which turns medical procedures for kids into a game to help distract them.
Meanwhile, Taylor Richardson not only dreams of going to space, but is also known for her literacy efforts to ensure all kids can read and has collected over 5,000 books so that every child in her native Jacksonville, as well as around the world, will have books to allow them to take flight towards their dreams.
Last but not least is co-founder Jordan Reeves, an activist and inventor who is on a mission to raise awareness and drive action in support of young people with physical disabilities around the world. Jordan herself was born with a left arm that stopped growing just before the elbow.
We really recommend checking out their page, especially if you are a teen or know a teen, as we only wish we had these girls around when we were younger for inspiration.
To support the team, click here: The STEAM Squad.