The 21 Balloons Club is a STEAM mentorship program for young women. Led by Jackie Bastardi, the club aims to guide young women to explore a wide range of topics in a safe and positive environment. Areas range from STEAM topics, to Rube Goldberg Machines, to yoga classes.
The 21 Balloons Club was named after the novel that first sparked Jackieâ€™s interest in engineering. In the novel â€œThe Twenty-One Balloonsâ€ by William Pene du Boise, the main character is an explorer whoâ€™s decides to spend a year traveling the world in a house attached to a balloon. He becomes stranded on a strange island where the inhabitants have all sorts of strange gadgets and devices that made life on the island exciting. In the spirit on the novel, the 21 Balloons Club is all about exploring the world around us, specifically the many STEAM fields that wow us.
While many women lose interest in the STEAM fields as they reach middle school, we hope to create a strong group of like-minded young women who support one another and encourage one another in their interests.
The club is formed by inviting young women who show interest in the fields while attending Curious-on-Hudson classes, and meets on at least a monthly basis.