Local woman helps girls connect the dots in STEM


Virginia Beach, Va. – A visit to the dentist at Cusp Dental Boutique in Virginia Beach, but it’s not for a checkup.

This visit is part of a special STEM program and Dr. Zaneta Hamlin leads the way by showing some of the technologies used in her dental practice.

“It helps set, cure, or harden the filling material. You just shine light on the tooth,” Dr. Hamlin said.

It’s all part of the Butterfly Village She Can STEM Academy. The founder is Katina Barnes.

“It happened…I had a vision to start a non-profit organization. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my goal is to empower women,” Barnes said. “I’m just starting to have all these visions about me, butterflies – so butterflies are transformation, aren’t they? And that’s what the village is all about, transforming people’s lives. women and girls.”

Part of this academy involves field trips to various companies related to science, technology, engineering, and math.

Andrea Long is a board member of Butterfly Village and explains why this program is needed in addition to STEM classes in our schools.

“It’s great that it’s in the classroom, but what it doesn’t do is really allow young women, especially young women of color, to see themselves active in STEM fields, to be able to see the scientist and see the engineers and see the mathematicians in real time, and to see each other,” Long says.

Dr. Zaneta Hamlin is honored to help make that connection, “And so Katina is doing something extremely amazing and to help our girls and see themselves, help them aspire and help them dream, because sometimes they don’t can’t afford it.”

Barnes says she knows her Butterfly Village is needed and loves seeing girls on Connect the Dots excursions.

“It really makes me feel good because I know that if I had this experience as a young girl, I wouldn’t have been afraid of science and afraid of math. I would have taken math and science classes higher level,” she said. .

For all that Barnes does, News 3 presented him with an Everyday Hero award, as well as a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.

Barnes was shocked, “Oh my God! Thank you so much! That’s not why we’re doing all this, but thank you!

If you would like more information about Butterfly Village’s STEM programs, click here: Butterfly Village


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