STEM Camp is an Adventure for Middle School Girls
“Adventures in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)” camp gave 27 girls heading for the 7th and 8th grades a week of hands-on summer fun and learning about engineering, math, and biology at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK) campus. The 2012 camp was a collaboration of the Engineering Research Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Network (CURENT), an NSF-funded ERC headquartered at UTK, and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS).
Adventures in STEM is geared toward expanding girls’ interests in engineering, math, and biology and raising their awareness of careers in STEM fields. Most camp activities took place at CURENT facilities. In addition to benefiting participating students, a local TV station broadcast a feature about the program (“Science Girls”), increasing awareness of STEM education for pre-college students.
The girls learned STEM concepts by way of team projects, hands-on activities, and personal interviews with UT engineers and scientists. They were able to ask postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and graduate students about their lives as female biologists and mathematicians. The week culminated in poster presentations in front of peers, families, faculty, and staff, giving the students a chance to tell about their special projects and increase their presentation skills.
The program is being offered again in June 2013, and enrollment is being increased to 30 to meet anticipated higher demand.