Founded in a social entrepreneurship class at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, our Co-Founders, Julia Haried and Elizabeth Engele, were inspired by the question "What bothers you?" Motivated by their past experiences, MakerGirl was created to inspire young girls to pursue STEM fields through 3D printing sessions.
Haried and Engele began a social entrepreneurship class led by Noah Isserman and Ryan Singh at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Little did they know, this would mark the beginning of a journey that would impact their lives, as well as the lives of thousands of young girls across the country.
Motivated by the question “What bothers you?”, Engele, immediately wanted to inspire her female peers on campus. Haried quickly drew from her past research about the lack of women in C-suite positions. Their conversation moved to,
“Why is that?” and “What can we do to change these issues?”
Engele and Haried created MakerGirl -- a mission driven organization about more than just 3D printing. MakerGirl inspires girls to be active in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and encourages them to continue to say “Yes!” to future challenges through 3D printing workshops.
The first MakerGirl session happened in November of 2014 with seven girls from the Champaign-Urbana community. Haried and Engele began building a team of talented students from across campus to lead the workshops and grow the organization.
Winter & Spring 2015
MakerGirl continues to run successful sessions throughout the school year. Led by university students, they partner with professors and student organizations on campus to bring STEM-related guest speakers and activities into their 3D printing workshops.
MakerGirl is accepted into the first cohort of the prestigious iVenture Accelerator, a summer program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign designed to help start-ups further their ventures.
MakerGirl begins raising money and planning for their first #MakerGirlGoesMobile trip. They successfully raised over $32,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to bring their programming on the road for the summer, with a focus on rural and underserved communities.
MakerGirl successfully completes their first #MakerGirlGoesMobile road trip. They travel over 10,000 miles to 17 different states across the country and bring their 3D printing programming to 1,007 girls.
MakerGirl fundraises and plans for their second #MakerGirlGoesMobile road trip. They successfully raise over $15,000 through a second Kickstarter campaign.
MakerGirl successfully completes their second #MakerGirlGoesMobile road trip. They travel over 2,500 miles and bring their 3D printing programming to 521 girls across the Midwest.
MakerGirl expands to Northwestern University and begins to offer programming in Evanston.
MakerGirl hires their first full-time CEO, Stephanie Hein and pilots their program with the Society of Women Engineers at Harvard.
MakerGirl begins expansion plans for University of Michigan, University of Texas at Austin, Milwaukee School of Engineering.