By April Laissle
As the start of the school year nears, educators continue to grapple with how to get girls interested in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics, all fields in which women are underrepresented. One Bay Area organization says it's found the secret in sound.
Women's Audio Mission is a nonprofit that offers free audio engineering and recording arts classes to women and low-income girls.
"This is a way to connect creativity to technology," says Terri Winston, who founded the Mission District group in 2003. "That's a proven way to get girls interested in technology -- you have to link it to some social need or impact, or something that's creative. They won't just work with a gadget just because it's a gadget."
Winston set up the program to mirror her own journey into engineering. She started out as a musician, but switched gears after spending time behind the scenes working with the recording equipment. She's worked with bands like the Flaming Lips and the Pixies, and created music for TV shows and commercials.