Deloitte and Ella the Engineer Provide At-Home STEM Learning Opportunities Through Virtual Comic Book Series and Interactive Toolkits

STEM-oriented series and toolkits can inspire new generations of female tech talent

Deloitte, in collaboration with The Ella Project today announced the launch of a virtual reading series of Deloitte-sponsored “Ella the Engineer” comic books alongside free, interactive toolkits. Together, the story time readings and toolkits provide a fully immersive educational experience, as parents continue to take on the role of at-home educators.

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The comic books are read by a trio of Deloitte women leaders, who are also featured in the books as main characters. Janet Foutty, executive chair of the board, Deloitte US; Catherine Bannister, development and performance leader, Deloitte Services LP; and Nishita Henry, chief innovation officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP share the stories of Ella the Engineer, a fearless young girl who uses science and technology to solve problems and save the day. Interactive toolkits created to complement the story time readings include materials to help foster discussions around mentorship, education, inclusion and equality, all told through a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) lens.

Virtual reading series
Deloitte’s involvement in this creative project underscores its long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion and STEM education. It also marks the continuing collaboration between Deloitte and The Ella Project that began in 2018. The series promotes female leadership and encourages young women to explore the exciting world of STEM.

The readings and toolkits are one element of Deloitte’s ongoing mission to promote parity and empower women in STEM fields. Women currently represent only 29% of STEM jobs in the U.S., according to research from Catalyst. Additionally, fewer than 12% of STEM jobs are held by women of color. Representation of women among board directors in the technology industry also remains low.

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“Deloitte is committed to creating unique opportunities to spark interest among young girls and other underrepresented minorities to pursue and thrive in careers in STEM and STEM adjacent fields,” said Foutty. “We are thrilled to come together with The Ella Project by providing fun and engaging virtual learning resources for the next generation of STEM leaders. We hope parents and their children view the readings together, dive into the interactive toolkits, and inspire a lifelong interest in STEM.”

Janet Foutty, executive chair of the board, Deloitte US, reads “GoPro Hedgehog”
In the book, Foutty’s character encourages Ella to use analytics to piece together the whereabouts of her stolen class pet.
Nishita Henry, chief innovation officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP reads “The Burping Caper”
In the book, Ella and her best friend work together with guidance from Henry’s character to tackle an uncontrollable burping epidemic through creative problem-solving and teamwork.
Catherine Bannister, development and performance leader, Deloitte Services LP, reads “Glitchtown”
In the book, Bannister’s character guides Ella through a challenge with the city’s Internet, teaching her about confidence and mentorship in the process.

Ella the Engineer comic book interactive toolkits
After viewing the virtual readings, students and parents are encouraged to complete the new, corresponding interactive toolkits. Within each toolkit is an electronic version of the comic book, vocabulary words from the reading materials, and discussion guides prompting conversations related to the issue’s themes of mentorship, teamwork, self-confidence and creative problem-solving.

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