An Inside Look at Amazon

Come see inside Amazon!

An Inside Look is your middle school student’s chance to learn about career opportunities at leading companies, network with professionals from diverse backgrounds, and meet other girls with an interest in STEM. This time around we’re heading to Amazon's 3.6 million-square-foot MQY1 Fulfillment Center in Mt. Juliet.

Many Amazon FCs span the equivalent of 28 football fields and can hold tens of millions of items on any given day. Yes, tens of millions. The scale of the centers can be difficult to grasp, even in person, but this tour will help students get a sense of how it all comes together. Plus, the five-story building on Golden Bear Gateway at East Division is full of robotics and other high-tech gadgets.

We’ll learn all about Amazon's innovative products and fulfillment services, how they impact our daily lives and make genuine connections with pros who are responsible for getting things to our front door. So you’re in, right?! Then, sign up and join us.

At this Inside Look, your student will:

  • Meet Amazon employees from all backgrounds
  • Learn about the different tech roles at Amazon
  • Get an exclusive tour of Nashville’s Amazon fulfillment center
  • Participate in round table conversations and speed mentoring with Amazon and the Play Like a Girl community


Students will also be provided free lunch and a robotics kit!


Arrive Early
Plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to the tour. If your student does not arrive on time, the tour will start without them. Once the tour has begun, students will not be able to join the tour.

What to Wear (or Bring)
All Play Like a Girl guests must wear long pants (jeans are ideal) and flat, closed-toed, and closed-heeled shoes (no sandals, clogs or high heels). We recommend wearing comfortable shoes or sneakers. Additionally, long hair must be pulled at or above shoulder length. Loose fitting clothing (long-hanging jewelry, scarves, or ties) are not permitted. Headscarves worn for religious reasons are permitted but must be tucked in securely.

Students may bring a wallet and cell phone on the tour. If they have other personal bags or items, they will be asked to either leave them in the car or in a secured room on site. Outside food and drink will not be permitted.


A program participant who has incurred three (3) documented “same-day cancellations” and/or “no-shows” may be subject to restriction from any future programs or events and dismissal from Play Like a Girl entirely, in accordance with policy guidelines.

STEM+ Challenge powered by MoneyLion

MoneyLion and Play Like a Girl invite middle school girls nationwide to explore STEM+ and finance through mentorship and a capstone project.

About this event

We are going wild this summer!

MoneyLion invites 30 middle school girls ages 10 to 13 to dive deep into learning about STEM+ and finance. Throughout this four-week program, attendees from all across the country will gather every Tuesday on Zoom to connect with professionals in finance and engage in exciting learning activities.

With guidance from MoneyLion mentors, girls will have the opportunity to develop their own financial product or service. By creating and presenting their own digital financial tool through building a website or a mobile app, attendees will hone their communication, marketing, technology, legal, and finance skills.

MoneyLion has teamed up with Play Like a Girl to provide girls a fun learning experience on technology and financial literacy. Through this summer program, we are excited to build confidence and promote early education for young girls in this field.

Note: Program dates are listed separately for accurate headcounts. However, registrants are expected to commit to all four weekly sessions at the time of registration.

The Spring STEAM Program

The Spring STEAM Program is a 5-day program of interactive workshops and lectures aimed to deepen the interests of young students interested in STEAM. The program will range from broad topics like exploring chemistry to advancing in HTML. Each day of the program will have 2 sessions in either Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, or Math, and will take place from 8:00-9:00 am or 1:00-2:00 pm (refer to the schedule for more details). If you are interested in your child (4th-8th grade) learning about STEAM, this would be a great opportunity to utilize their spring break.

In this event, mentors from all around the world (California, New York, Canada, Egypt, India) will be sharing their knowledge and experience to help students get started/interested in STEAM.

For more information and to register, click HERE


Meet an amazing young woman who’s already changing the world

Why does it seem like behind every amazing woman there’s a sport she played when she was younger? For Cheryl Mulor, that sport was soccer. And while the sport wasn’t her passion growing up in Kenya, playing it did teach her an important lesson about what she was capable of.

You see, in Kenya, soccer is huge—it just hasn’t always been that way for girls. “In Kenya, there is so much focus on men and men’s sports. I have four brothers and I just always played soccer with them, because why not? Doing that motivated me to play in school. I loved the sport, but I was always aware that I was doing something that not many girls did, which just motivated me even more.”

Fast forward to today, and it’s clear her early Girls-Can-Do-Anything attitude served her well. Last month we introduced you to Cheryl and her health startup Imhotech, which won second place at Samaira Mehta’s Boss Bizz 2.0 Entrepreneurship Academy. (Play Like a Girl CEO Dr. Kimberly Clay spoke to participants at the virtual event, and we also sponsored the $1,000 prize.) But to stop there would be to miss out on so much more of this young woman’s story. We caught up with Cheryl recently (via Zoom, of course) and were so impressed by her strength, determination and wisdom beyond her years.

Cheryl arrived in the United States four years ago, after earning a full scholarship (and then some) to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kenya, which literally straddles the equator, is a far cry from Madison, Wisconsin, but she was so impressed by the school’s civil engineering program, that she was willing to sacrifice the warmer temps for the opportunity to study there.  

Once she arrived, she felt a little like she did on the soccer field back in Kenya. “Civil engineering is really male and really white, while I’m female and Black,” she says. “Coming into the program, I was expecting it, but you really can’t be prepared for it enough.”

In a lecture hall with more than 300, she was the only Black woman.

“It was intimidating at first,” she admits. “I’d ask myself, ‘Will I be smart enough?’ And sometimes I doubted myself, but I eventually got to a place where I stopped worrying about the numbers of female students and just focused on proving to myself that I could do it. I knew I could work hard and do just as well as my classmates.”

She also recognizes the value she brings as a Black woman to a white male-dominated field like civil engineering. “Whether a Black woman from Kenya like me or someone who has a completely different background, the world is better when these unique perspectives come together.”

Cheryl’s plan, after earning a master’s degree in sustainable design and construction and working as a civil engineer in the United States, is to eventually take her knowledge and expertise to help improve residential construction in rural Kenya. “I grew up in a village where the homes are made out of mud and had grass-thatched roofs,” she says. “But these types of homes do not survive harsh conditions, so there’s always repair happening and it’s just this cycle of destruction and reconstruction. I want to discover how to take these local materials and modify them to be able to create structures that are better for the economy and the environment.”

There also are growth plans for Imhotech, which Cheryl started with two other engineering students at UW-M. Cofounder Chumani Mokoena is from South Africa and is a student in nuclear engineering. He serves as team leader for Imhotech. Yasmine Abdennadher, an electrical engineering major from Tunisia, is in charge of research and development. A third friend, Anya Gessesse, who was born in Ethiopia and grew up in California, is studying computer engineering and is the company’s lead software developer.

Despite hailing from very different parts of Africa, they discovered a similarity among them—all had stories of family members or friends who were denied medical care because they didn’t have their medical records on them in their time of need.

Imhotech is helping solve that problem by building a tool—an electronic health record that is compatible with low-speed internet—that allows patients easier access to their medical records and the medical care they need when they need it. The $1,000 prize from Boss Bizz 2.0 is serving as seed money for the startup, and Cheryl says the funds will go toward hiring software developers and coders to help build the prototype. The idea also caught the attention of the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative (a longtime partner of Play Like a Girl), which awarded Cheryl and company $3,000 to help move the idea forward. A prototype is already in the works, and Cheryl expects there to be a pilot program in place next year.

So, what advice does Cheryl have for the girls in your life? It’s simple: “Go for it.

“Whatever you want to do in life, do it,” she says. “Whatever boys can do you can do 10 times better. It needs hard work and it’s not going to be easy, but that mentality will take you far.”

Meet the Boss Bizz

Samaira Mehta inspiring fellow young founders to turn their ideas into reality

Samaira Mehta is Play Like a Girl personified. She’s owned her own business, CoderMindz, for the past five years, she’s been named entrepreneur of the year several times over, and in 2020, she launched an entrepreneurship immersion program to help inspire the next generation of business owners.

And, oh, did we mention that she’s 12?

We had the pleasure of meeting Samaira when Play Like a Girl traveled to the Bay Area for our STEM+ hackathon in partnership with the San Francisco 49ers in 2019. We’ve kept in touch with this inspiring young woman and we’re so glad we did.

Otherwise, we may not have been invited to be a part of the launch for Samaira’s Boss Bizz Entrepreneurship Academy, a virtual (for now) speaker series and business pitch fest for young, aspiring entrepreneurs.

Starting something new in a pandemic might seem counterintuitive, but Samaira says the timing was actually perfect. “Kids’ opinions matter,” she says. “They have ideas and solutions, which our world needs—especially right now. Young people can bring a lot to the table, and with the situation we are facing, now more than ever, we need the voices of young people heard.”

And because the pandemic meant an end to in-person events, that meant even more of these voices could be amplified and heard. “Much of my career has been spent doing in-person workshops,” she says. “Because this was online, we were able to reach so many more people, all over the world.”

After just a few months of planning, the first event took place in July. By year’s end, Boss Bizz 2.0 was in the books, too. Participants—ranging in age from 8 to 30—have heard from Silicon Valley founders like Kara Goldin, social entrepreneurs like our very own Dr. Kimberly Clay and young dreamers like Alyssa Carson, an aspiring astronaut who’s got her sights set on Mars. (You go, girl!)

Planning for Boss Bizz 3.0 has already begun, too.

“We’ll make improvements with each one, but the goal will always be the same—to share the process of creating a business with aspiring young entrepreneurs and give them a safe, comfortable and exciting space where they can share their ideas and not feel worried about being put down,” she says. 

In other words, Boss Bizz is all about building up the confidence of young founders determined to solve the world’s problems. Like Cheryl Mulor, who’s originally from Kenya and is currently a civil engineering student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cheryl didn’t just attend Boss Bizz 2.0, she also won the grand prize—$1,000 in seed money for her company, Imhotech, which is transforming how healthcare is delivered in sub-Saharan African countries by giving patients easier access to their medical records. The prize money, which was sponsored by Play Like a Girl, will go towards hiring programmers and software developers. A prototype is already in the works, and Mulor expects there to be a pilot program in place by the end of next year.

This is the second time Mulor has received an award for Imhotech—the first was from the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative, a partner of Play Like a Girl—and a boost in confidence has come with each one.

“Really just being a part of the program and seeing all of the amazing ideas is inspiring,” says Cheryl, who created Imhotech with three friends and fellow engineering students at UW-M. “But winning definitely helps. It helps reinforce that this is a good idea and it could really work. And that confidence just makes us work even harder.”

Learning in a COVID World

Access to Technology is More Essential Now Than Ever Before

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed -- and even deepened -- the impact of the digital divide among girls across the globe. With the world’s mass transition to virtual learning, access to technology, including hardware devices, software, and WiFi access, has become more important now than ever before.

Students without access to these essential resources have proven to be less engaged in the classroom, thus decreasing educational and career opportunities and deepening income inequities.

At Play Like a Girl, we believe every student should be afforded the same learning opportunities. So, we’re doing something to change that. We’ve partnered with the Frist Foundation and AmazonSmile to deliver much-needed resources, including iPad Minis, laptops and WiFi hotspots to girls in need. Additional funding from partners like Gilead Sciences helps connect these girls with positive women role models and mentors through our virtual mentoring program, Meet + Mentor.

Meet the Watsons

As a mother of three young girls, Angie Watson wants to give her daughters opportunities that she didn’t have in her youth.

“Dreaming was a luxury that we didn’t have," she said. "We didn’t realize you could have a dream and that you could achieve it. We were never told you can be whatever you wanted to be.”

Despite graduating with honors, her guidance counselor told her she couldn’t go to college because she didn’t have her parents’ support.

[bctt tweet="“When I became a mom, especially to three girls, I wanted them to fully believe that the sky’s the limit. I don’t want them to feel limited because of finances that you can’t achieve your goals, because that’s not right and it’s not fair.”" username="iplaylikeagirl"]

Sadly, she said, education is not free, which is frustrating when you’re limited.

“Financially, we’re unable to do all the things I want to be able to do with and for my girls,” she said. “That’s why programs like this mean so much.”

Not only are her two oldest daughters, Dasani and Arianna, participants in Play Like a Girl’s program, but recently, Dasani was awarded a laptop and Arianna a tablet through Amazon’s #DeliveringSmiles initiative.

Although both girls were given school-assigned laptops, the devices are limited and must be given back at the end of the semester. Their new devices will allow the girls to pursue their passions and interests year-round. For Dasani, that means learning how to code and keeping in touch with the study group she started. For Arianna, it’s pursuing her interest in weather science and participating in Play Like a Girl’s virtual Meet + Mentor program whenever she wants.

Access to technology does much more than keep the Watson girls connected to the outside world; it gives them the opportunity to pursue their passions and expose them to new growth opportunities.

“I want to help them achieve their goals," she said. "All I really want for them is to know that they can dream and there’s no limit -- that they can feed their passion and they can be whatever they want to be and that they can be happy and fulfilled.”


Play Like a Girl Announces New Board Chair

Former President of Women in Technology Tennessee brings more than 20 years of recruitment experience and tech leadership to Play Like a Girl board

NASHVILLE, TN. -- Play Like a Girl announced today that Marla Lamont has joined the nonprofit’s board of directors as its new Chairwoman.

Lamont is a well-respected talent acquisition leader with extensive experience in corporate and third-party recruiting. She has exceptional ability to understand a company’s business strategy and develop a talent acquisition strategy that aligns to its goals and objectives. The talent veteran also has more than 20 years of experience in the tech industry, and served as president at Women in Technology Tennessee (WiTT). She is currently the Director of Business Development at Relode, a crowdsourced healthcare recruitment platform that matches professionals to leading jobs at top companies.

“Few nonprofits are pursuing as bold and ambitious of a vision as Play Like a Girl,” said Lamont. “Like WiTT, the team at Play Like a Girl is passionate about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) but they’re also doing some amazing things in sports. I’m thrilled to be part of an organization dedicated to harnessing the skills girls gain from early and ongoing sport participation to develop their potential for a future in STEM, and I look forward to helping them extend their impact even further.”

In addition to Lamont, newly-elected Play Like a Girl board members include:

  • Channing Moreland, Co-CEO / Head of Partnerships for eva
  • Deann Moore, Sr. Director, Change Management, Asurion
  • Aqiyla Reed-Dowdell, Senior EDI Business Analyst, HCA Healthcare
  • Lee Ann Shephard, Vice President, Human Resources, BFC Solutions
  • Christina E. Stephens, Business Consultant, Teragram Visions

"Marla is a world-class corporate leader,” said Play Like a Girl CEO and Founder Dr. Kimberly Clay. “We are excited about the strategic guidance she will bring as we navigate this period of uncertainty and unprecedented change. In particular, we are eager to tap into her experience and insights in talent acquisition as we prepare to hire additional staff and begin succession planning for my eventual transition.”

To learn more about Marla and her team at Play Like a Girl, visit

Surprising Science in Your Home

The worlds of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (or STEM) are exciting and relevant in so many ways. STEM is everywhere and in everything, making our lives run smoothly. Without STEM, we would not have many of the things we use on a daily basis--from microwaves and lighting to yep, your favorite mobile app.

Inventions and innovations of all kind stem from STEM (no pun intended, promise!).

When was the last time you pondered the exact science or mathematical formula that makes the simplest--but, oh, so necessary--things work? Well, consider this a lesson in the surprising science in your home:


Microwaves are in almost every American kitchen. They quickly and efficiently heat food by transforming electric energy into heat energy directly in the molecules of food. This appliance uses electric energy to generate tiny little microwaves, or waves of energy, that travel through air at lightening speed. The waves move up and down rapidly and bounce off of the reflective walls of the microwave. When they pass through food, the energy causes the molecules of the food to bounce up and down rapidly as well. This movement generates heat in much the same way that rubbing your hands together quickly. The heat builds up pretty quickly inside your food, thereby thawing, heating or cooking it.


Electricity is still the primary source of lighting in most homes. When the sun goes down, it’s as simple as flipping a switch to bring light into your home. The science? Simple: Lightbulbs connect to an electric circuit inside your house. An electric circuit is an interconnection of wires through which electricity travels. When the switch is flipped, the circuit is completed, allowing electricity to pass through the lightbulb. Electricity traveling through the lightbulb is converted from electric to light energy on the thin wire (aka filament) within the bulb. This thin piece of metal is the catalyst for your experience of light.


If you've ever connected your Airpods or speaker to your smartphone or other device, you probably used Bluetooth. This technology, like microwaves, uses energy waves but a different type. Bluetooth uses longer radio waves (rather than short microwaves) to carry signals. When the radio waves transmit from your device, they travel through the air. Using electricity, a Bluetooth-enabled receiver picks up these waves and converts them to sound. 

Daily life would look extremely different without these and other major innovations. Sometimes it's fun to just consider the world around us and how exactly we get to enjoy even the seemingly simple conveniences. Here at Play Like a Girl, we encourages you to take this exercise even further. Is there something you can create, build or develop to help improve daily life? If so, get at it! We're rooting for you.

Leave a comment below and share some of your favorite things powered by STEM.

Play Like a Girl Hosts Leading Women in Science and Tech


Media Contact: Hannah Pike

615-601-1864 | [email protected]


Play Like a Girl connects middle school girls to women in STEM careers through STEM+ Saturday makerspace labs, lunchtime mentoring in Metro Schools and hands-on experiences

NASHVILLE, Feb. 24, 2020 -- Nashville-based nonprofit Play Like a Girl® will host #GirlsRockSTEM, it’s 10th Annual Summit to educate and empower middle school girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through mentoring and hands-on experiences. Mentors and speakers include leading women scientists like bat conservationist Kristen Lear who will be featured in #IfThenSheCan – The Exhibit, a new monumental exhibit of the most women statues ever assembled in one location, at one time. This first-of-its-kind, life-sized 3D printed statue exhibit celebrating the contributions of more than 120 AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors, contemporary female STEM professionals and role models from a variety of industries, is set to debut in May.

“It is critical that our girls have role models and early, positive experiences in STEM so that they’re able to see the unlimited possibilities available to them,” said Dr. Kimberly Clay, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Play Like a Girl. “Our ability to connect girls with women in a wide range of STEM careers is essential to growing a robust and diverse talent pipeline that will drive meaningful growth in our economy both locally and nationally. And we’re so excited and thankful to have employees from local companies including AllianceBernstein, Amazon and Asurion serve as industry mentors and event volunteers.”

The 2020 STEM+ Summit on March 7 will convene 150 girls and their mothers and teachers from across Greater Nashville. Together with industry mentors, they will explore STEM careers through inspiring talks, hands-on activities and interactive makerspace workshops like coding, robotics, virtual reality and so much more. Chief Meteorologist Danielle Breezy will open the conference and serve as event host throughout the day. Dr. Feyi Aworunse, an optometrist at Nashville General Hospital, will deliver the keynote presentation using a series of optical illusions to engage girls in an exciting and impactful conversation about the power of vision. Also speaking at the event are U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn; Deborah Knoll, Tennessee Director of K-12 Programs & STEM Initiatives; and, Sharonese Henderson, UPS IT Solutions Provider and Board member for the Women in STEM Center at Middle Tennessee State University.

Registration for #GirlsRockSTEM is now open through March 3 for all middle school girls grades 5-8 at Registration includes admission to all educational sessions, breakfast, lunch, snacks and dessert as well as a celebratory dance party to commemorate Women’s History Month. Girls will also enjoy a live DJ, LUNAFEST® short films and a screening of CBS’s hot new show Mission Unstoppable, photo booths, sponsor goodies and limited edition #GirlsRockSTEM merchandise on sale at the event. A parent or adult chaperone is required to attend the event with each girl or group of up to 8 girls. Scholarships are available by calling (615) 601-1864. Wells Fargo is event sponsor.

The Play Like a Girl STEM+ Summit will be held at Middle Tennessee State University’s Student Union Center in Murfreesboro. For more information, visit




Play Like a Girl is a Nashville-based national 501(c)3 charitable organization founded in 2004. Our mission is to ensure that every girl reaches her full potential by providing girls ages 9-13 an opportunity—and in many cases, their only chance—to participate in sport and physical activity. We offer programs and resources designed to transform girls’ motivation into an “I am unstoppable” attitude. It is our goal to help girls everywhere find the courage to do things beyond the field of play that they never thought possible. Ultimately, we seek to harness the natural properties of sport to propel young women into competitive, male-dominated careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We believe that girls given the opportunity to play on a team become women who have the confidence to stand on their own. For more information, visit, and join us on social media @iplaylikeagirl.

Meet Gracie: Software Engineer Saving Our Planet

Gracie Ermi is a knitter, Seattle Seahawks fan and outdoor enthusiast—but that’s not all. In her professional life, she is a software engineer who builds technology platforms that just might help save our planet. Her work focuses on preserving ocean health and protecting endangered animals like elephants, sharks and killer whales.

Gracie earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science at Western Washington University, and has worked at Vulcan Inc. in Seattle, Washington for the last two years. Using coding and a technology called machine learning, she builds artificial intelligence programs -- training computers to do the most tedious aspects of conservation work, so that experts can focus on more important elements of their job.

As an American Association for the Advancement of Science If/Then Ambassador, Gracie shares her story as a way to inspire people, especially women and girls, to pursue computer science as an avenue to make a change in their communities and around the world. She wants to emphasize to everyone that coding is not magic; with practice, anyone can learn to do it. Plus, learning to code bursts open a whole world of financially beneficial and socially engaging opportunities.

Gracie is pumped to attend #GirlsRockSTEM, the 2020 Play Like a Girl Summit on March 7th at Middle Tennessee State University. There, she will share how she went from a middle school girl who knew she wanted to make a positive difference in the world (but had absolutely no idea what computer programming was), to a computer scientist working at an organization whose mission statement is, “Make and leave the world a better place.”

In middle school, Gracie would have never predicted she would pursue a future in technology. Now, her coding skills give her the opportunity to work on projects that 13-year-old Gracie would be incredibly inspired by.

Do you care about solving climate change? Getting every dog adopted? Making sure that everyone has enough to eat?

Gracie, alongside her friend and colleague, Afua Bruce (Chief Program Officer at DataKind), will engage with attendees at the Play Like a Girl Summit to reflect on the kind of world they want to live in. Student attendees will be empowered to envision themselves contributing to these causes and more.

Gracie and Afua will show students how gaining technology skills can be a powerful avenue for creating the change you want to see in the world. It is of massive importance that we listen to and encourage the unique and powerful ideas of girls if we want to build a future where every person, animal and plant thrives.

Follow Gracie and her amazing adventures in STEM  on Twitter @gracieermi.