In nationwide assessments of technology and engineering skills, middle school girls on average outperform boys, and three-quarters of elementary school girls say they’re interested in careers in science, technology, engineering and math. But by high school, interest wanes, to just 11%. Women comprise only a quarter of the STEM workforce.
Various initiatives are underway across the country to extend the eagerness and enthusiasm for the STEM disciplines of the younger years, and Adventures in STEM Camp for middle school girls is one of them.
Although it only runs for one week each summer, the camp packs a lot into every day. Last week wrapped up the 2019 camp, which is hosted by NIMBioS and CURENT, an NSF-supported engineering center at UT
Through hands-on activities, participants learn how STEM-related concepts apply to a vast range of areas, such as epidemiology, renewable energy, biodiversity, and manufacturing. This year’s camp included computer programming, 3D printing, electric circuitry, geometry, veterinary science, and more. Campers toured the UT Veterinary Hospital and Analysis and Management Services Corporation in Knoxville. They also interviewed women mathematicians, scientists and engineers to find out about careers in STEM.
Families were invited on the last day to watch the girls present their posters about the various topics that the girls learned during the camp.
Thanks to the many CURENT and NIMBioS staff, postdocs, graduate students, and other volunteers that help make this camp possible.