Baruch College MBA Students Create Game Encouraging Girls to Pursue STEM Careers
Three MBA students at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business were honored in March for their innovative approach to creating more opportunities for women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as the STEM fields.
Nefeli Mourti, Thanasis Stratiotis and Aracelis Torres developed a concept for an online game to give high school girls a fun introduction to the idea of working in STEM careers, which traditionally have been dominated by men. The team won first place in their category in the Growing Hope Challenge, sponsored by television network MSNBC and Net Impact, a non-profit organization that seeks to involve students in a variety of social and environmental causes.
The game, which is still in conceptual form, will be aimed at girls ages 15-18, and require them to complete projects based on the challenges that real female professionals face in their everyday careers. To make it more fun, they’ll also be able to develop their own projects and create their own worlds. The game is called Hy(pi*tia), a notation-enhanced spelling of Hypatia, a famous female mathematician from fifth-century Greece.
The students interviewed women in STEM fields identified through their family and friends, asking what could be done to make those fields more appealing to girls and women. “The replies had one common idea -- target girls at a younger age,” Mourti said. “We decided that a game would be the best medium to really captivate girls by creating a fun, educational, and motivating experience.”
Mourti said the MBA program at Zicklin School of Business had helped them “think creatively and strategically while designing solutions for multifaceted problems.” One particularly helpful class was “Entrepreneurial Strategy and Cases,” taught by Professor Emanuel Glenn in the Management Department. The course was effective because “he used only real-life examples, and taught us to be realistic and honest about our abilities” when considering entrepreneurial opportunities, Mourti said.
The team is looking into the possibility of getting corporate support to develop the game further. In the meantime, they’ve won an expenses-paid trip to the annual Net Impact conference in Seattle, in November 2015.
Nefeli Mourti ’16 is from Athens, Greece, majoring in Sustainable Business and Operations; Thanasis Stratiotis ’16 is from Kefalonia, Greece, majoring in Finance; and Aracelis Torres ’15 is from Milford, MA, majoring in Accounting and Sustainable Business.
About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.
Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kirk Petersen, (646) 660-6124, email@example.com
Mercedes Sanchez, (646) 660-6112, firstname.lastname@example.org
Evelisse Luciano, (646) 660-6134, email@example.com