Expands Midwest Presence for Greater Impact on Young Girls

CHICAGO - MakerGirl, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring young girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields through 3D printing sessions, has appointed Stephanie Hein as their first CEO, effective September 4, 2018.

Hein’s responsibilities will include overseeing the expansion of new Maker Girl Academies, ensuring both the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Northwestern University Academies are sustainable and supported. In addition, she will coordinate fundraising efforts with a goal to impact 10,000 girls by 2023, including half from underrepresented and rural communities.

“Stephanie is the ideal person to help expand our programing and locations so MakerGirl can have a greater impact on the lives of young girls.” said Julia Haried, co-founder. “She has a deep understanding of what is needed for the next generation of tech-minded girls to join the competitive ranks of men in STEM careers. In the future, 3D printing has an estimated market opportunity of $170B1. We are confident MakerGirl will continue to thrive under her leadership and that she will work tirelessly to have every girl in the country be a MakerGirl.”

Hein served as MakerGirl’s Engagement Director in 2016 and assisted raising over $30,000 through a Kickstarter campaign and organized #MakerGirlGoesMobile, a 10,000 mile cross-country road trip that brought 3D printing sessions to over 1,000 girls in rural and underserved communities across the country.

“Since launching MakerGirl, we have expanded to offer special coding and robotics classes at Northwestern University. DePaul University soon will offer sessions as well as universities in the Midwest and beyond,” said co-founder, Elizabeth Engele. “We can’t wait to see where Stephanie’s passion for education and STEM will take us.”

“After experiencing the first MakerGirl session in 2015, I immediately wanted to be a part of the MakerGirl team and help further such an important mission,” said Hein, MakerGirl chief executive officer. “Growing up I was always interested in STEM but never had the chance to participate in anything like MakerGirl, which is why I am passionate about giving young girls the chance to explore STEM fields through 3D printing. I couldn’t be more excited to be back at MakerGirl driving change alongside the wonderful teams of students we have at our UIUC and Northwestern Academies.”

Hein is a graduate of Educational Studies Master’s program at the University of Michigan as well as a former student-athlete and Molecular Biology major at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her interests include informal learning environments, science, communication, STEM education, and women in STEM. She gained educational programming experience at her former position at Toyology Toys. She was a store leader of Toyology Toys in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Hein ran educational programming efforts at local schools and was responsible for creating toy-based educational programs, finalizing program sales and facilitating events.

For more about MakerGirl visit our website at or email

About MakerGirl

MakerGirl is a nonprofit that inspires girls live and dream as unstoppable forces that say “Yes” to the challenges of the future which leads to gender equality in all workplaces. MakerGirl does this through 3D printing sessions for girls ages 7-10. Currently MakerGirl is headquartered at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has recently expanded to Northwestern University. Since being founded in 2014, MakerGirl has reached over 3,000 girls across the country. All of the sessions teach girls to be creative and analytical through 3D printing and other cutting edge technologies. Girls practice design thinking while designing and printing an object, and they learn about women leaders in STEM and innovative companies.

Over the past two summers, MakerGirl has gone mobile to reach over 1,500 girls in 18 different states. The MakerGirl Goes Mobile program has raised over $45,000. MakerGirl separates itself from other organizations doing the similar work by focusing on 3D printing. There are a lot of different STEM programs for young girls to promote the same mission we have. A lot of these programs focus only on coding. We have not found too many organizations that focus mainly on 3D printing. We chose 3D printing because it allowed participants to leave with a tangible object they can take home to remind them of all the lessons they learned and that they can make anything.

1Wohlers Report 2012, Wohlers Associates, May 15, 2012, pg. 131