Movie Fundraiser Supports Young Women in STEM

The documentary Maiden will be shown at The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay on February 6, 2020 at 6:00 pm to support Inland Seas Education Association’s (ISEA) Young Women in STEM program. A panel of women will follow the movie for a brief Q & A. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at

Maiden is a film about the first-ever, all-female crew to enter the 1989 Whitbread Round the World Race. As the young women competed in this male-dominated race, they overcame cultural, financial, and personal struggles which is the perfect backdrop for this fundraiser. “Past Young Women in STEM participants have shared with us how this program has been life-changing for them,” Fred Sitkins, ISEA Executive Director, stated. “They have more confidence or absolutely know they want to go into a STEM career after the program.”

Maggie Oudsema, a 2000 YWIS participant, credits the program and ISEA for confirming her career choice and helping her to obtain her current job with the Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) at Grand Valley State University. She has been a research assistant with AWRI since 2010 and has recently been studying microplastics in the Lake Michigan food web.

Panel participants include Paige McDowell, a former YWIS participant, and Lily Heyns, ISEA’s relief captain. Additional panel members will be announced on ISEA’s website. Paige will share her experience on a Young Women in STEM program and Lily will share what it is like being a woman in a male-dominated career field. Questions for the panel can be emailed to prior to the event.

“This Maiden Fundraiser will allow young women to participate in our three-day Young Women in STEM program for just $300,” shared Troy DeShano, ISEA Fund Development Coordinator. Chemical Bank is sponsoring the event so all proceeds from ticket prices and donations will go directly toward the program. Program costs include lodging accommodations on the ship, food, research and sailing instruction, and professional crew.

On the YWIS programs, high school girls are introduced to careers in the freshwater and STEM fields as they sail to ports and islands around Lakes Michigan and Huron. In addition to sailing and research, they step out of their comfort zones, gain confidence, and confirm career paths. “All ISEA’s youth programs focus on helping to prepare our future scientists, mathematicians, designers, and engineers. They will be the future protectors of the Great Lakes and we are honored to be part of their learning experience,” explained Sitkins. Learn more about the YWIS program here.

The Bay Theatre is located at 214 N St Joseph Street in Suttons Bay, MI. Doors will open at 5:30 pm. Concessions will be available for purchase.

Inland Seas Education Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Suttons Bay, Michigan, dedicated to STEM education on the Great Lakes. Its shipboard and shore-side education programs are designed to inspire people of all ages to provide for the long-term stewardship of the Great Lakes. ISEA offers programs to schools, groups, and the public. For further information, contact Inland Seas Education Association at (231) 271-3077 or on the web at