Charlotte Girls Learn STEM Skills at Project Scientist Expedition


Although women fill nearly half of all jobs in the U.S., they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Yesterday, Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR), a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments, and Project Scientist worked together to address the gap. Ingersoll Rand, and its strategic climate brands, Thermo King® and Trane®, hosted the Project Scientist STEM Academy on its Davidson, N.C. campus for more than 80 girls ages 4-12.

The Project Scientist girls are from towns around Charlotte and are from diverse backgrounds with 40% receiving a scholarship to attend the Project Scientist STEM academy. During yesterday’s interactive experience, the girls completed hands-on projects including engineering and assembling solar lights to send to children in energy impoverished areas like the Dominican Republic.

“To achieve diversity and gender parity in STEM careers and fill the talent pipeline with capable and experienced professionals, we have to teach girls from all backgrounds that they can grow up to be anything they want, and it’s important to start young,” said Sandy Marshall, Project Scientist Founder and CEO. “Thanks to partners like Ingersoll Rand, Trane and Thermo King who support our mission, girls can see real women using STEM to solve problems and make the world a better place,” said Marshall. “They can see wonderful career opportunities that await in STEM.”

The Project Scientist girls learned about climate-friendly technology powering Trane heating and air conditioning systems that cool people at home and work; and witnessed how to efficiently power the Thermo King transport refrigeration units that keep perishable foods and medicines safe during transport. The girls also toured a virtual reality lab and participated in a 3D printing process to see what is inside of a compressed air system used in manufacturing processes like car assembly and food production.

“The experiences the Project Scientist girls engaged in demonstrate the transformative, innovative and exciting nature of a STEM career,” said Katherine Cipkala, senior cyber security manager at Ingersoll Rand and company champion for Project Scientist. “It is important to expose girls to positive STEM experiences early and keep them engaged throughout their education. Programs like Project Scientist fuel the future workforce, and are in line with our 2030 sustainability commitments for people and citizenship to provide women and girls with unique educational experiences.”

The company’s engagement with Project Scientist are in line with its 2030 Sustainability Commitments, which it announced in June upon accepting the World Environment Center’s 35th Annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development. The company designed these commitments to:

  • Meet the challenge of climate change including reducing customer carbon footprint from buildings, homes and transportation by one gigaton1 CO2e– equivalent to the annual emissions of Italy, France and the United Kingdom combined.
  • Transform its supply chain and operations to have a restorative impact on the environment including achieving carbon neutral operations and giving back more water than we use in water-stressed areas.
  • Increase opportunity for all, strengthening economic mobilityand bolstering the quality of life of our people including gender parity in leadership roles, a workforce reflective of our community populations, maintaining livable market-competitive wages and broadening community access to cooling comfort, housing and food.