Temple Lester

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Temple Lester
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Temple Leigh Lester

(2007-03-09) March 9, 2007 (age 17)
Atlanta, Georgia
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma mater
  • Midtown International School
  • Dekalb Academy of Technology and Environment
  • DeKalb County School District
  • Advocate
  • Speaker
  • Entrepreneur
  • Philanthropist
Known forSTEM, Advocacy, STEM Girl Swag

Temple Lester is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) advocate, speaker, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. She started a movement called STEM Girl Swag which encourages girls and minorities to get involved in science. Lester is the creator of the STEM Swag Box a DIY science kit.


Temple was born in Atlanta, Georgia and currently lives in the Metropolitan Atlanta area with her parents. She is a gifted student and attends Midtown International School. She also attended Dekalb Academy of Technology and Environment and Wadsworth Magnet School for High Achievers both in the DeKalb County School District. After being the only girl at a summer science camp where the camp counselors kept calling her a “little princess”, Lester insisted that they call her a scientist like every other boy at the camp. At age 9, she created a website to help get girls and minorities to involved in science. She won the Georgia Science Teacher Association STEM-Talk competition in 2017[1][2], her talk was titled “Trading in my Crown for a Lab Jacket”, which allowed her to speak to science teachers around the state about the importance of including girls and minorities in STEM.[3] Since Lester continues to speak and advocate for girls and minorities nationally. Lester is Cadette level Girl Scout and has received the Bronze Award. Her goal is to be an astrophysicist and finds inspiration in the work of astrophysicists like Neil De Grasse Tyson and Beth A. Brown.

Honors/recognitions and advocacy

Lester has received many awards and honors for her advocacy in STEM. At age 11, she was the youngest speaker and moderator for the Girl Scout of Greater Atlanta’s Second Century Luncheon. Lester shared the stage with notables like Grammy award-winning writer and singer Keri Hilson, Emmy award-winning journalist Jovita Moore, and Ann Cramer, a senior civic consultant.[4][5]

She was recognized as Atlanta’s 20 Under 20 for her philanthropy work in STEM.[6] Lester has delivered several keynotes for schools and organizations. Recently, she spoke at the United State of Women Summit 2020 State of Young Women Summit about the importance of including minorities and women in STEM.

In 2019, Lester created the STEM Swag Box a make-it-yourself science kit that makes STEM-education fun..[7] The young entrepreneur and philanthropist raised $5,000 through Go Fund Me to donate her science kits to deserving students in underserved communities. 2018, Delkab Chamber of Commerce named Lester as their Youth Entrepreneur of the year.[8] She does DIY, experiment videos and motivational talks to get youth involved in STEM. Virtually her STEM Girl Swag movement continues to expose youth to various STEM-related fields by conducting Live interviews with notable like Ornithologist Carina Newsome, Analog Astronaut Dr. Sian Proctor, and Sustainability Advocate Lauren Singer.

Temple participated in the 2020 National History Day which she won first place in the state of Georgia she went on to compete nationally. Her state winning documentary, "Shirley Chisholm: The Good Fight” chronicling the life of the barrier-breaking African-American woman politician was selected to be featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Digital Showcase[9][10] Lester became the first student to win this honor.[11]

In the media



  1. "GSTA STEMTalk| Georgia Science Teacher Association | NHD". georgiascienceteacher.org. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  2. "5th-grader wins STEM talk contest". Cross Roads News. October 19, 2017. p. 6.
  3. "Wadsworth student earns first-place I state STEM competition". DeKalbCountySchools.org News. October 2017.
  4. "Girl Scouts' Second Century luncheon". saportareport.com. November 25, 2018.
  5. "Girl Scouts Of Greater Atlanta Host Second Century Luncheon". patch.com. September 7, 2018.
  6. "Meet our 20 Under 20 honorees for 2019". atlantaintownpaper.com. January 1, 2019.
  7. "STEM Girl SWAG: Temple Lester hopes to encourage kids–especially girls–to take an interest in STEM". wsav.com. February 14, 2020.
  8. "DeKalb Chamber honors 11-year-old entrepreneur, local businesses". ajc.com. July 5, 2019.
  10. "UPFRONT featuring D. Channsin Berry, Temple Lester and Deborah Joy Winans". wclk.com. June 27, 2020.
  11. "National History Day Georgia News| National History Day Georgia | NHD". georgiahumanities.org. Retrieved 2020-06-22.

External links

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