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Girl Scouts and STLCC team up for Science and Engineering Day Camp

June 25, 2013

Girl Scout  
A Girl Scout works on a science project.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is partnering with St. Louis Community College for the seventh annual Science and Engineering Day Camp, which concludes Friday, June 28.

The camp is being conducted at the Florissant Valley campus, where students in grades 6-8 are taking part in numerous hands-on activities designed to expose them to a variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

More than 50 girls from the area, along with instructors and mentors from the college, are exploring activities in biology, physics, chemistry, computer-aided design, computers, genetics, aerodynamics, sustainability, geometry, algebra, chromatography and environmental engineering.

In addition to hands-on activities, the camp also includes a field trip to St. Luke’s Hospital.

“It's really great to see girls so interested in these topics. They really enjoy problem solving and the hands-on experience that our faculty volunteers provide,” said April Garrison, mathematics instructor at STLCC. “By hosting this event at the college, they get a sense of what it's like to be a student here and they seem a lot more comfortable about the prospect of attending college in the future.”

The camp has been shown to fuel girls' interest in scientific and engineering pursuits through hands-on activities and interaction with professionals in these fields. The St. Louis area, mirroring the nation at large, lacks domestically-trained science, engineering and technology workers. Estimates show a need for approximately 1 million more STEM professionals than are projected to graduate over the next decade.

Women are particularly under-represented in this professional group. Through exposure to these topics and career paths, instructors 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 economic viability both regionally and nationally.