Our Approach


“The young women today are the leaders and visionaries of tomorrow.”

S.T.E.A.M. — A ‘Pathways’ Approach

Astra Women’s Business Alliance believes that the young women today are the leaders and visionaries of tomorrow. With that belief that Astra President and Vice-President, Diane McClelland and Suzanne Lackman, started the Astra S.T.E.A.M. Program in 2013. The Astra S.T.E.A.M. Program takes a holistic, pathways approach to S.T.E.A.M. Education. Following a pathways approach, encourages a shift in focus from numbers of people in S.T.E.A.M. jobs and people with STEAM degrees to focusing on equipping individuals, specifically girls, with the skills needed to thrive and grow in the workforce.

The “A” in S.T.E.A.M.

The S.T.E.A.M. Summit Program emphasizes the role Arts and Humanities plays in complementing a student’s STEM education by teaching a student the importance of communication, design aesthetics, and a global understanding. The “A” in S.T.E.A.M. is meant to recognize the importance of that role and to signify our pathways approach to S.T.E.A.M. education. 

Entrepreneurship Education and S.T.E.A.M.

The Astra S.T.E.A.M. Program was designed to break down traditional barriers by equipping young women with the confidence, skills, and the network to successfully pursue S.T.E.A.M. careers. The key to overcoming barriers is promoting a growth mindset which encourages “embracing challenges, persisting in the face of setbacks, learn from criticism, find lessons and inspiration in the success of others.”

The Astra S.T.E.A.M. approach is to use entrepreneurship education which highlights growth mindset learning. The activities during the conference allow the students to implement what they have learned, and then learn from any setbacks or failures during the process. The Astra S.T.E.A.M. program believes that by exposing the young women to S.T.E.A.M. activities in the context of entrepreneurship education will allow young women build the confidence they need to succeed beyond the classroom.

S.T.E.A.M. Summit Activities

Demystifying Entrepreneurship Panel

This multi-lesson activity will teach STEAMers the important characteristics or traits of successful entrepreneurs.Then STEAMers will get a chance to interact with female entrepreneurs, CEOs, and presidents from a variety of different industries in a panel-style discussion.

Opportunities in S.T.E.A.M. Industries

Women in S.T.E.A.M. Industries and corporate executives discuss about opportunities for STEAMers in different S.T.E.A.M. fields. In the past summits, Astra STEAM invited female representatives from corporations and government agencies such as Microsoft, PG&E, International Game Developer Association (IGDA), NASA, Google, and many more! 

E.S.T.E.A.M. Incubator Challenge: New Venture Competition

The STEAMers will be divided into teams to develop a business and an App idea for their business. With only two days, each team will race against the clock creating a business model and the technology. We invite back STEAMer Alumni as peer mentors to guide each team through the process.

Pitch Perfectly

STEAM teams will develop a 10-minute presentation for their new business and present in front of a panel of judges and audience. Judges will vote on the best idea, best pitch, best tech offer, most creative and other designations, for cash awards that are up to $1,000.