For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathryn Kiefer, Chief Communications Officer
Office: 314.592.2397 Cell: 314.583.7800
Inspirational Science and Engineering Day Camp from partnership between Girl Scouts, STLCC, Boeing
Hands-on program serving over 50 girls to be held at St. Louis Community College - Florissant Valley
St. Louis (July 12, 2012) – It's highly unusual to see kids in grades 6-8 hanging out at a college campus, but this week (July 16-20), that's exactly what will be happening at St. Louis Community College - Florissant Valley as Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri holds its annual Science and Engineering Day Camp.
For the sixth time since this inspiring camp started in 2007, over 50 girls from the Greater St. Louis area will take part in a plethora of hands-on activities, exposing them to a variety of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The campers, along with instructors and mentors from the college, will explore activities in biology, astronomy, CAD, computers, genetics, rocket propulsion, geometry and algebra. In addition to hands-on activities, the week-long camp includes a field trip to Boeing.
“Middle school is a critical time in a girl's life- when she may shy away from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fear being the "smart" girl. Through this day camp and other STEM programs we offer, we encourage girls to become girls of courage, confidence, and character and show them how they can make the world a better place through STEM," said Donna Martin, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.
“[The camp is beneficial in that it] helps gets the word out about areas of interest in these fields,” said April Garrison, Mathematics Professor at STLCC-Florissant Valley. “We try to get women volunteers so the girls can see that women can be successful in these fields and it helps them feel more confident about career choices.” Indeed, the camp has been shown to fuel girls' interest in scientific and engineering pursuits through hands-on activities and interfacing with professionals from these fields that positively benefit the greater St. Louis community.
Our community, mirroring the nation at large, is suffering from a lack of domestically trained science, engineering and technology workers. Estimates show a need for an additional 400,000 new STEM field graduates by 2015. Women are particularly under-represented in this professional group, not from lack of aptitude toward these careers, but from lack of awareness or false impressions of these fields and their appropriateness for women. Through exposure to these topics and career paths, we hope to increase the number of girls who consider and complete these fields of study, adding to the number of trained professionals needed to improve the economic viability of our area and nation.
Girls leave camp with a broader understanding of the world around them, having met other girls and adults both like and unlike them. They have had experiences they would not otherwise have had, and pushed their limits to try and succeed at new things. They emerge as leaders and take that new confidence back into their schools and communities to inspire others, contributing to overall community well being.
About Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri
Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri serves more than 58,000 girls and is supported by more than 18,000 adult volunteers in the City of St. Louis and 28 surrounding Missouri counties of Adair, Audrain (Van-Far School District), Clark, Crawford, Franklin, Iron, Jefferson, Knox, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Pike, Putnam, Ralls, Reynolds, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Sullivan, Warren and Washington. The organization works to empower girls to discover a stronger sense of self, connect with others in an increasingly diverse world, and take action to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is committed to building girls of courage, confidence and character. To join, volunteer or donate to Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, call 800.727.GIRL (800.727.4475) or visit www.girlscoutsem.org. GSEM is supported by United Way of Greater St. Louis, United Way of the Mark Twain Area, United Way of Adair County/Northeast Missouri and Franklin County Area United Way.
About St. Louis Community College
Established in 1962, St. Louis Community College is the largest community college district in Missouri and one of the largest in the United States. STLCC has four campuses – Florissant Valley, Forest Park, Meramec and Wildwood – and annually serves nearly 80,000 students through credit courses, continuing education and workforce development programs. For more information about STLCC, visit www.stlcc.edu.