In mid-November, Harker’s WiSTEM (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Club held a Diabetes Awareness Week on the upper school campus. The goal was to raise awareness about diabetes and the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle.
WiSTEM’s mission is to foster female students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, to provide role models and mentors in those fields, and to educate the community about gender issues in the sciences.
Under the direction of advisor Anita Chetty, upper school biology teacher and science department chair, the club sponsors guest lecturers, holds technical workshops for the Harker community led by female scientists, and creates a network of female mentors – including Harker alumni –working in STEM fields.
Adele Li, a grade 11 student and WiSTEM member who helped plan Diabetes Awareness Week, reported that the effort was a success. During the week, representatives from the American Diabetes Association were on hand to talk to students about diabetes; Bay Club instructors led a kickboxing class and a Bollywood hip-hop class during lunch; and faculty members led tai-chi and yoga classes.
“We also sold KIND bars, Hint water and Enlightened ice cream bars (yes, healthy ice cream!) during lunch and after school to fundraise for the American Diabetes Association. Additionally, we had a diabetes-friendly option for lunch every single day of the week,” said Li.
The WiSTEM Club also made posters with infographics highlighting diabetes facts, such as that one in 10 Americans has diabetes and 208,000 American children and teenagers have diabetes (with that number growing). Every 17 seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes, according to Diabetes.org.
In other upper school outreach news, in early to mid-December, holiday gifts for children and families in need were collected and delivered by the outreach department to causes including Adopt-a-Family, the Family Giving Tree and Sunday Friends.