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  • Writer's pictureDarryl Silva

Dads group bridges STEM educational gap for girls in Durham Region By Lexy Benedict Global News

Exciting news ... D4DSTEM was featured on Global News this month! A very special thank you to Global news and their super star reporter Lexy Benedict for spotlighting our STEM-in-a-Box program and partnership with BGC Durham. Also, a special thank you to Rob Treml, our D4DSTEM Durham Community Champion, for promoting the cause.


You can check out the article and news feature video here: https://globalnews.ca/news/9520638/dads4daughters-stem-science-tech-engineering-math/


Synopsis below.


We’re still looking for corporate sponsors and donations to be able to provide more STEM-in-a-Box kits to kids in need. Click here for details.

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Dads group bridges STEM educational gap for girls in Durham Region

By Lexy Benedict Global News

Posted March 1, 2023 5:55 pm

Updated March 2, 2023 9:34 am


Dads for Daughters in STEM, or D4DSTEM for short, is a non-profit organization that was created five years ago by dad Darryl Silva, after seeing there was a gap that needed to be filled.


Silva said he and his wife noticed a gap in the availability of STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – toys in an affordable market. The idea for the non-profit grew even more when Silva noticed the lack of presence in TV shows and mainstream media as well.


“As early as Grade 2, girls think STEM is for boys,” Silva said. “There’s this idea that math and science is just for boys.”


Silva said statistics show that only 20 per cent of graduates within the post-secondary system focused on STEM are women.


He believed the more exposure kids have to the material, the more they would be interested in it, and he was right.

“We found that there was an increased curiosity and confidence,” Silva said.


The overall goal for the organization is to involve the youth head-on with STEM, and to ensure all Canadian kids, especially those aged 3 to 10, are given the opportunity to excel in STEM with fewer barriers.


D4DSTEM has been working to expand across the province, and partners with Boys and Girls Clubs (BGC), a non-profit organization that supports local youth with programs focused on physical activity, healthy living and creative expression. The team provided STEM-inspired toys, experiments and activities. This year, it tested out Stem-in-a-Box kits.


“These are kiwico boxes, and they provide books and activities for kids,” Silva said. “We raised funds, purchased a bunch of kits, and then donated them to different locations of Boys and Girls Clubs, so kids could use them at after-school programs and during the summer,” he said.


D4DSTEM has been working to expand across the province, and partners with Boys and Girls Clubs (BGC), a non-profit organization that supports local youth with programs focused on physical activity, healthy living and creative expression. The team provided STEM-inspired toys, experiments and activities. This year, it tested out Stem-in-a-Box kits.


“These are kiwico boxes, and they provide books and activities for kids,” Silva said. “We raised funds, purchased a bunch of kits, and then donated them to different locations of Boys and Girls Clubs, so kids could use them at after-school programs and during the summer,” he said.


“The best stores you can get them at, are also the most expensive stores,” Treml said.


To help with that barrier, D4DSTEM also hosts a toy drive in the region collecting STEM-related toys.


BCG Durham services 24 different schools at 13 different locations. Executive director Kathleen Hutton said it’s been a success.


“They love it,” Hutton said. “’When are we doing STEM again?’ is what they always ask, and we find that more kids come in on those days.”




Hutton said ideally, she wants to see more kids get involved. “Children learn through play, so by making it a toy or game, the skills and the things we are learning are priceless,” Hutton said.


The dads say the hope is to have these boxes at more Boys and Girls Clubs, and to run it out full-scale in Durham.

“It’s all about creating that spark with the kids,” Silva said. “Because you could have the next architect, doctor, or scientist … and all you need is that little spark to get started.”


To help Dads for Daughters in STEM grow, donations and more information on how to get involved can be found on the group’s website.


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