INDIANAPOLIS — Wednesday is International Women’s Day, and Indiana educators are celebrating with the announcement of plans for an all-girls STEM academy.

The kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school will open on the north side of Indianapolis next year.

“Today, being International Women’s Day, we wanted to celebrate a very unique, first-of-its-kind educational opportunity that’s going to be focused on girls in central Indiana K through 8,” said Danielle Shockey, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana.

Paramount Schools of Excellence announced Girls IN STEM Academy in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Every Girl Can Stem and Purdue Polytechnic High School.

“This has been a 2019 seed of a dream,” Shockey said.

“The school will be a free public school,” Shockey said.

School officials said this will bridge the gender gap in STEM careers.

“When you look at STEM careers in the future, there is already an inequity in the number of females entering the STEM workforce,” Shockey said. “Between now and 2030, the job opportunities in STEM are going to grow 10%, and that is more than all other occupations combined.”

Shockey said girls form their STEM science and math identity by grade three. 

“We know that now with all the growth and opportunities in the future, and the growth that exists, we need to give girls this unique, single-gender environment, to give them STEM role models, STEM instruction and a really beautiful way that prepares them for the future,” Shockey said.

The curriculum will focus on robotics, math, engineering, science and technology. There is also a strong focus on diversity.

“Paramount and Polytechnic, both serve students that are 70% minority and socioeconomically challenged,” Shockey said. “We hope to continue to achieve that because those inequities are even greater in STEM than gender inequity.”

Girls IN STEM Academy will be located in midtown. A specific location will be announced in the coming months.