Our Goal

The Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation believes that Girls in Engineering (the term “girls” includes cis girls, trans girls, nonbinary youth, gender nonconforming youth, and genderqueer youth) programs can contribute significantly to the national need for increased women’s representation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Current statistics on women in the workforce: 1

Increasing access to, and representation in, STEM fields for women, and especially for women of color, is essential not only for the larger goal of creating social equality for all of society, but also for efforts to solve the most difficult technological challenges of our time. When women are not involved in science and technology, the experiences, insights, and needs unique to women are overlooked and innovation is limited.

To address this gender gap, the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation seeks to enhance and/or establish college and university supported Girls in Engineering (GIE) summer programming for middle school students. GIE programs bring together middle school girls from the college or university’s local community, especially those in underserved areas, to engage in hands-on learning in STEM fields. The goal of GIE programs is to broaden interest in engineering through engaging projects, exposure to STEM college and career pathways, and meetings with engineers and university faculty and researchers. By creating the structure and support needed for students to access and excel in engineering, GIE programs promote the ultimate goal of achieving gender equity in STEM fields.

The Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation also recognizes that, while there is a lack of representation for all girls in STEM fields, there is an additional barrier for low-income girls who cannot afford to engage in the kind of programming we want to support. Because of this, the Foundation seeks to support organizations that are providing free programming to low-income girls. There is also a lack of representation for women of color in STEM fields, and, as a result, the Foundation would like for programs to have an emphasis on including and serving girls of color.

What We Look For

The Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation would like to support colleges and universities that show a commitment to Girls in Engineering programs through institutional support and a dedicated plan for sustainability. We look for programs that incorporate the following components through existing (or proposed) guidelines:

  • Is supported by a university or college’s School of Engineering, shown through submittal of an Internal Memorandum of Understanding from the School of Engineering and other institutional entities involved in the GIE program (see requirements below)
  • Has sustainability plan (see requirements below)
  • Has dedicated program director who creates and manages the curriculum (please include job description in proposal)
  • Is housed on campus, in order to expose participants to the university environment
  • Hires women TAs and program staff as much as possible, with an emphasis on recruiting women of color
  • Offers hands-on approach to projects and activities and an inquiry-based instruction method
  • Is exclusively for girls (students who identify as girls), with a comprehensive plan to recruit, support, and retain students from underserved communities, such as low-income students or students of color
  • Actively recruits and is accessible to girls from underserved communities; majority of students should come from low-income backgrounds
  • Maintains strong partnerships with local middle schools and relevant community groups
  • Offers at least one week of continuous programming for each cohort of students
  • Hosts cohorts where 75% of participants are eligible for free/reduced lunch and receive the programming at no cost if more there are more than 50 participants. If there are 50 or less students in a cohort, 100% of students should be eligible for free/reduced lunch and attend at no cost.
  • Provides free transportation to and from program site

Each application must include an Internal Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the executive officers and/or directors of the School of Engineering and all participating partners within the institution(s).

The IMOU should:

  • Identify the departments, offices, or entities designated to receive and administer grant funds and to manage and coordinate program activities within the institution of higher education
  • Clearly state the roles and responsibilities each partner would assume to ensure the success of the proposed program
  • Describe the resources each partner would contribute to the project, either through time, in kind contributions, or other (e.g., office space, staff)

As this is a competitive, discretionary program of the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation, there is no guarantee of continuation of funding.  Applicants are required to include a plan describing their commitment and capacity to continue the program if funding through the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation were no longer available.

  • There is a preference for applicant organizations for which women are the primary decision-makers.
  • There is a preference for applicant organizations that integrate gender equity into their personnel policies, such as robust parental leave, child care, flexible work schedules, and relationship abuse workplace policies.

Please note: The Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation is not afraid of the word feminism! We encourage you to openly discuss your intersectional feminist programming, goals, or approach.

To Apply


Unsolicited proposals will not be accepted.