MakerGirl Announces New Partnership with EOS North America

MakerGirl Announces New Partnership With EOS North America 


August 5, 2019

Chicago, IL — MakerGirl, an Illinois based not-for-profit that educates girls ages seven to ten in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through 3D printing workshops, has announced a new three-year funding partnership with EOS North America. This marks the largest partnership to date for MakerGirl.

The funding from EOS will be invested in creating MakerGirl’s newest Academies at the University of Michigan and University of Texas at Austin with a focus on inclusion and diversity. This investment in MakerGirl will advance the MakerGirl Academies and allow EOS employees to volunteer with the workshop process--from recruiting academy directors to sharing their knowledge during the 3D printing sessions.

“When I met EOS (Laura Gilmour and Stephanie Kochbeck, EOS leaders in business development), for the first time to discuss a potential investment in MakerGirl, I knew immediately that they were enthusiastic about our mission and eager to assist us in educating young girls in any way possible. Not only was it a conversation about whether EOS would work with us, it also led to how they could help MakerGirl meet our ambitious expansion goals. EOS understands the importance of gender equality and getting girls interested in STEM at a young age.” -- Elizabeth Engele, Co-Founder and Executive Director

“As the daughter of an engineer and a nurse, I was fortunate to be exposed to making things at an early age: the family legend is I built a house when I was 5 years old. My early exposure to engineering fundamentals turned into a desire to study biomedical engineering and become a medical device R&D engineer. I am a real-life example that exposure to engineering concepts at an early age cultivates an interest in STEM. I believe this partnership with MakerGirl will give other young women this opportunity, even if they do not have an engineer as a father.” – Laura Gilmour, Global Medical Business Development Manager, EOS North America.


About MakerGirl

MakerGirl educates girls, between the ages of seven to ten, in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through 3D printing and cutting edge technology workshops . Since MakerGirl inception in 2014 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, over 3,800 young girls have been impacted by the initiative. MakerGirl separates themselves from other organizations doing similar work in STEM education by helping young girls improve their digital skills by giving them access to online CAD software and 3D printers. This shows girls that they can be both analytical and creative. 

About EOS North America 

EOS North America is a business of EOS, the world’s leading technology supplier in the field of industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers. Formed in 1989, the independent company is a pioneer and innovator for comprehensive solutions in additive manufacturing. Its product portfolio of EOS systems, materials, and process parameters gives customers crucial competitive advantages in terms of product quality and the long-term economic sustainability of their manufacturing processes. Furthermore, customers benefit from deep technical expertise in global service, applications engineering and consultancy.


Inc.: Staying the STEM Course: How We Can Show Girls That They Can Do Anything

WGN: MakerGirl sparks STEM interest with 3D-printing class for girls

MakerGirl Announces New Full-Time Executive Director, Mary Hadley, and Transition of Stephanie Hein


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Chicago, IL — MakerGirl, an Illinois based not-for-profit that educates 7-10 year old girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through 3D printing sessions, has announced its next full-time hire, Mary Hadley

Mary will be assuming the role of the full-time Executive Director, effective August 1, 2019, as a planned transition from Stephanie Hein. Stephanie started as MakerGirl’s Engagement Director in 2016 at the University of Illinois. After being a Division One swimmer and graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Molecular Biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, she pursued a Master’s of Arts at the University of Michigan in Educational Studies, and went on to serve as MakerGirl’s first full-time CEO for the original one-year contracted period. During her time at MakerGirl, Stephanie helped secure sponsorships from Abbott Labs, Parker Hannifin, Autodesk, solidified MakerGirl’s academy expansion to Northwestern University and Boston/Cambridge, and helped coordinate the third #MakerGirlGoesMobile tour - a road trip which brought 3D-printing to over 500 girls across the Midwest and East Coast. 

Mary will play a key role in supporting the organization’s mission to inspire girls to be unstoppable forces in STEM; working towards gender equality in all workplaces. Hadley’s responsibilities include overseeing fundraising opportunities, MakerGirl Academy growth, and molding MakerGirl sessions to be irresistible. Since inception, MakerGirl has expanded across the United States to seven University Academies while impacting more than 3,800 girls.

“As a Co-Founder of MakerGirl, I am thrilled to have Mary Hadley join our team full-time. The vision of the full time position is to have a University ChangeMaker graduate from University and start her/his career with MakerGirl. Mary’s ability to connect with individuals, lead our University ChangeMakers, and her commitment to girls’ education are all qualities that make her ready to thrive in this position,” said Co-Founder, Julia M. Haried. “I have the utmost trust that during this transition Mary will succeed due to working with us daily during the past two years at 1871 and with #MakerGirlGoesMobile; and I look forward to the coming year.” 

Mary Hadley is a recent graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a Kappa Kappa Gamma, who earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry Science and Letters. She joined MakerGirl in 2017 to run the #MakerGirlGoesMobile summer tour, which impacted over 520 girls, and later followed with an internship in the summer of 2018 managing sponsorship opportunities and expansion to Northwestern University. Mary then served as the Managing and Curriculum Director, overseeing and training dozens of ChangeMakers. She will make a smooth transition into her new role as full-time Executive Director. 


About MakerGirl

MakerGirl educates girls from the ages of 7-10 about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through 3D printing and other cutting edge technologies. Since MakerGirl’s inception in 2014 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, over 3,800 young girls have been impacted by the initiative. MakerGirl separates themselves from other organizations doing similar work in STEM education by helping young girls improve their digital skills by giving them access to online CAD software and 3D printers. This shows girls that they can be both analytical and creative.


Inc.: Staying the STEM Course: How We Can Show Girls That They Can Do Anything

WGN: MakerGirl sparks STEM interest with 3D-printing class for girls

Impact Day 2019

Our third #MakerGirlGoesMobile road trip kicked off this past Friday with Deloitte Impact Day at 1871 Chicago! Over 87 girls from the Chicagoland area attended and learned about 3D printing with the help of over 40 Deloitte employees!

Big thanks to Deloitte1871 ChicagoDaystar AcademyMichael Faraday Elementary SchoolJohn A Walsh Elementary School, Danielle DuMerer from the City of Chicago, and all of the other attendees and volunteers for making our second Impact Day a huge success!

This week we will be making stops in Chicago and Indiana, and then we are off to the east coast!

Photos by 1871/Victoria Messina (@vmessin on Instagram)

Check out more photos here!


Why Two Heads are Better Than One

by: Justine Paul

Working individually on assignments or projects whether it be in academia or in the work place may seem like the easier option to a lot of people. When you are working alone you can be extremely efficient as there is no one to debate with but yourself. You can get things done at a faster pace because once you finish your work, the project is complete. Working individually means you never have to worry and wait for a team member to complete their part of the project which eliminates any major conflicts that may arise from working with others. While there may be instances where working solo is the better option, collaborations and teamwork have been proven to still be the best option.

Collaborations allow individuals to extend their own ways of viewing the world. They expand the generalities of our theories and our capacity for learning. Many say that “two heads are better than one” and I find this saying to hold true. Some of the most creative and original ideas have come from brainstorming with others.  A large majority of the innovations or design solutions that benefit society would never have been possible if it wasn’t for collaborations.  

While it is important to collaborate with others, we must be mindful of who we are collaborating with. It has been proven that diverse collaborations can be even more advantageous. This means diversity of many types, not only differences of culture, ethnicity, and gender, but also variety of expertise, intellectual perspective, values, and interests. It is extremely important to make sure all collaborators aren’t relying on the same tool sets to solve the problem. Another benefit of collaborating with diverse partners is that it opens doors for individual self-improvement. Spending time with socially different team members can change the way in which we as individuals view problems and situations in the future. This allows us to broaden our own understandings of the world and challenges us to think outside of our comfort zone.

So, the next time you are thinking about tackling a problem on your own, stop and think about the benefits you may gain from working with others. Understand the importance collaborations can play in your personal life, and how you as an individual can grow from working with others with different backgrounds and perspectives from your own.


Why a design thinking mindset is critical for STEM

by: Lauren McManus

As an student in STEM, I have done problem set after problem set based on ideal situations. It’s comforting to know that equations learned in class can be applied to these problems and lead to expected results, which are predetermined by the professor. For me, the most difficult homework problems to solve are not challenging due to the complicated equations. Instead, I have found that the most difficult are open-ended engineering design problems that have countless possible solutions. But these problems are also the most exciting to work through! They are technical problems that require a creative approach, and I have found that my first assumptions do not always hold true.

These are the problems that engineers in industry face every day. There is a problem identified out in the world, and there is a need for a solution. This is when design thinking comes into play. Instead of assuming what problem needs solving and what solution will do just that, there should be time and effort dedicated to understanding the real needs and how those can be met. This is integral to the design process, which can be outlined in four steps by the double diamond model of design (developed by the British Design Council). An understanding of the context of the problem begins with research during the first phase: discover. Diverging from the initially identified problem can help determine what the real problem is and who is affected. Phase two defines the scope of the problem to be solved, given the priorities of who to solve for as well as the constraints of time and budget. The diamond pattern is then repeated by developing a wide range of prototypes to test and improve. Finally, a solution to the problem is delivered!


But it doesn’t stop there! Almost every problem in STEM is dynamic and there is always room for improvement. The first solution is not always the best solution, so try it again! My biggest takeaway from learning the design process is too fail fast and iterate. I know that some of my designs may look good on paper, but the only way to find out if it will really work is to build, test, and learn.

The design thinking mindset sets my focus on the big picture. There are a seemingly infinite number of technologies just waiting to be invented, but how many of those meet a real need? This question should be on the mind of every problem solver, no matter what age you are. Whether you are developing a new medical treatment or providing clean water to a growing population, try approaching the problem with a design thinking mindset. You may just end up with an innovative solution that you never would have thought of before.

Why Girls Don’t Choose STEM

by: Nina Boord

When I tell my female friends I’m taking AP Physics C next year (a calculus-based college physics course) their jaws drop and they tell me “you’re crazy” or “good for you, but I would never.” While supportive, none of them share my passion for STEM. When people ask me what I want to do when I grow up, I say “engineering”. When I ask my friends what they want to do, time and time again they answer, “I’m not sure yet, but nothing to do with science or math. That’s for sure.”

The gender gap in STEM is not just some statistical anomaly; it is something I witness every day. Even I had my own doubts about being an engineer, in part due to the fact that I never had a friend that shared my interests. Almost all of the girls I know have a negative attitude towards math and avoid any math-based sciences like Chemistry, Physics, and Computer Science. Most girls constantly tell themselves that they are just not a “math person” or a “science person” and therefore will never succeed in the subject.

Girls’ cynicism towards STEM starts at a very early age, and our society and education system is at fault. The way math is taught in schools emphasizes speed and competition. Clubs like math team, while not inherently bad, deter many girls who are less competitive and more collaborative (which are exactly the kind of people we need in STEM). Math classes are often tedious, boring, and stress-inducing. Constant testing ensures that if you don’t understand even one concept, you will fall behind. In our current social and educational climate, I don’t blame most girls for not wanting to pursue STEM.

However, one thing in particular sets me apart from the majority of my female peers. At the age of eight or nine, I was lucky enough to participate in a summer camp where we were able to take “classes” in math and science subjects that interested us. I fervently chose “Fun With Chemistry”, “Lego Robotics”, and “Building Computer Games With Scratch” (an introduction to computer science). I have no doubt that an early exposure to these subjects in a stress-free environment was how I developed a positive attitude towards STEM. Since then, my dream job fluctuated from chemist to video game designer to electrical engineer. Now, one day I hope to start my own tech startup.

Organizations like MakerGirl are integral in cultivating a positive attitude in girls towards technical subjects. It is imperative that young girls experience STEM at least once in a collaborative, fun, and stress-free environment to open the path up for them to pursue it in the future. STEM is powerful, STEM is lucrative, and STEM makes change. STEM is exactly where we need the next generation of women to be.

Beauty + Brains: Why the Next Generation of Female Leaders won’t be considered ‘Pretty’

by: Rachel Berg


“We are world leaders. We are designers. We are scientists...We are huge contributors to society. We are supposed to be treated like an equal gender but how can we become equal if we are given all this extra homework of being very thin and completely flawless in every single way.”

–Jameela Jamil


This quote is by Jameela Jamil, a British actress, model, presenter, and activist. Jamil fights for gender equality and isn’t afraid to be honest about where society needs to improve. MakerGirl is just one organization in a movement to decrease the gender gap in STEM fields. While the amount of girls encouraged to become scientists, engineers, leaders, mathematicians, and researchers is increasing, more work needs to be done.

The next generation of female leaders won’t be considered ‘pretty’. This past February at MakerGirl, the HQ team brainstormed adjectives to describe a MakerGirl.

The next generation of female leaders will be driven and headstrong. They will be respectful and reliable. Leaders are collaborative, creative, and hardworking. The next generation of female leaders are curious, ambitious, proactive, entrepreneurs.

Under-served communities deserve opportunity equality

by: Claire Follis

Something that has driven me in the past four years, and will continue to drive me through my adult life, is equality in education. I am a passionate believer that through public schooling, all children should receive the same quality of education and opportunity. This ideal has motivated countless hours of research, volunteer work, and brainstorming on how to bring opportunities to students in areas where education is underfunded. My sophomore year this lead me to MakerGirl.

This past year, I was promoted to academies manager, the position I've dreamed about since first entering the nonprofit. My responsibility is bringing MakerGirl to other schools around the country, so that they can in turn bring resources to girls in the surrounding areas. This is a part of my life that excites me daily, and this summer I get to personally experience the joy of bringing resources to underfunded communities all across the east coast with our 3D printing road trip. Through MakerGirl, I get to bring STEM opportunity to girls not only in Urbana-Champaign, but across the country. I have the opportunity to not only inspire others to do so, but personally bring resources to the communities that I am passionate about serving.

Bringing STEM to communities who don’t have these resources is important not only because of the learning aspect, but on a societal level it can potentially interest a student enough to break the poverty cycle that commonly occurs in lower income communities. Underfunded education leads to the racial inequality that continues to be prevalent in the systems of this country.

“It’s important to look at how students are impacted in their K-12 education because it reflects on how education inequality effects America as whole. The overwhelming consensus of the courts that have considered the question is that there is a definite correlation between educational expenditures and educational quality.”

— Michael A. Rebell, “The Courts’ Consensus: Money Does Matter for Educational Opportunity “

Children who live in a low-income community will most likely go to an underfunded school, and therefore have less resources or opportunities than their peers just miles away. Bringing STEM resources to these communities shows them that they are allowed to have interest in STEM careers, they are represented in the STEM community, and even more, that the STEM community and academia want them. Students who are introduced to STEM at an early age are more likely to be able to thrive in the subjects through high school, and potentially higher education. In addition to developing an interest and knowledge base for STEM and enhanced inquiry skills, experts say that science instruction improves abilities in subjects outside of STEM, including literacy, language-learning, math, and executive functioning. However, if they lack the resources in their schools, they are again being deprived of an asset that better funded schools can provide. Equality in education is so important and even though society continually shows it’s low-income students that they are not deserving of it, it does not limit their ability to thrive and become successful scientists, teachers, businessmen, artists, or programmers. MakerGirl bringing its STEM resources to these communities will hopefully spark that idea of being a change maker in their community, and telling them that they can be whatever they want to be regardless of the amount of funding in their school. This is why I am excited everyday by the work that MakerGirl does, and why I believe that it is incredibly important to bring STEM to communities.

Check out this article that explores why STEM education should begin in early childhood education.

Why I Chose STEM

by: Victoria Gomez

Since the fifth grade, I knew I wanted to be a vet. I grew up thinking I’d have a practice and imagined myself putting casts on dogs and making cats feel better. It was this career and the idea of helping animals that sparked my interest in science. Not long after, I got a microscope kit for my birthday that I was obsessed with for years. It came with prepared slides of different fibers and sample animal cells - I felt like such a scientist! The way science encouraged my curiosity helped me find my own answers to the questions I had and find new information on topics that interested me (usually animals) through what I would then consider “research” - picture books at my elementary school’s library.

I followed this interest throughout high school and was persistent on my choice to become a vet because I still really wanted to help animals, but it wasn’t until after a year of being at my university that my perspective changed. I began to think through a more global lens and what I can do to help make the world a better place for both animals and people. I realized I didn’t like the medical field, so my inner scientist searched for different answers. My new motivation was in finding better ways to feed our production animals and pets while making a positive impact on our environment to ensure better futures for new generations. One of the most important things I’ve learned as a science student is that it’s not always about me - it’s about helping to cultivate a better future for people that I will never meet. The science route is difficult, but working through challenges and deriving a better understanding of who I am and my roll in the world has made my choice to work in STEM that much more worth it for me.

Bring STEM Into Your Home

With STEM/STEAM being a popular topic of conversation these days, especially as it relates to kids, it’s no surprise that there are tons of apps, toys, and websites out there that promote STEM/STEAM learning. Here are some of our favorites!


Designed by our friends at The Inventery, Inc. for all ages and skill levels, the Morphi app combines the fields of 3D modeling, 3D printing, and AR. The applications are truly endless, use it for everything from simple creative endeavors and 3D design to animation and product design. It is an excellent tool for classrooms and individuals alike and as an added bonus you don’t sign up for an account or even need Wi-Fi!


One of our personal favorites, Tinkercad is a free 3D design website for all ages and skill levels. It offers several tools including a new design-with-code option called Codeblocks. With tons of tutorials and educator resources, it is a great tool for classrooms but can also be used for tinkering at home. Plus you never have to download any software!


The brain-child of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a free website that encourages kids to think creatively and systematically as they design projects such as games and animations through simple block coding. With plenty of tutorials and guides, there is no experience necessary to begin. Plus it’s free!


As seen on Shark Tank, Toybox is a small 3D printer that allows you to print toys from the comfort of your home. With options to browse through a library of designs or create your own, the options are seriously endless. Don’t let the word “toy” mislead you, Toybox is fun for all ages!

Makey Makey

Makey Makey is essentially a keyboard that turns anything that conducts electricity (think bananas, Play-Doh, and tinfoil) into an interactive touch pad. Create cardboard arcade games, interactive art museums, banana pianos, and so much more! It is super simple to use and it can even be used with water!