STEM Camps: They’re Not Just for Boys!
In today’s society, we use science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) in nearly every industry. In fact, STEM offers us new options for viewing, recreating and changing the world. It also creates many high-paying and meaningful careers worldwide. However, way more males than females are involved in STEM occupations in the U.S. Can summer camps for girls help change that? The answer: a resounding ‘YES!’
Increasing Female Participation in STEM
KidzToPros (KTP) provides opportunities for girls to train right alongside boys in STEM areas, gain needed skills, and go on to work in high-tech fields long dominated by males. Summer camp for girls is a great start, getting girls interested and involved in learning about STEM subjects and applying them to a future world, where men and women both serve equally in STEM occupations.
Read on to learn more about how we involve girls in STEM through our summer camps.
Creating a Positive Environment
Early access plays a large role in increasing female participation from the get-go. We want girls attending camps in their elementary years because, it’s at this age that negative perceptions might be formed about math and science. Changing young girls’ attitudes toward STEM not only helps in primary grades, but continues to affect girls positively as they reach middle and high school.
When young girls get interested in STEM fields, everyone benefits.
KidzToPros’ STEM camps specifically and purposefully invite female campers to enroll. We encourage girls to stick with, and further develop, STEM interests that may develop into lifelong careers.
All children deserve an equal opportunity to discover their passions, and camps create a positive environment where those with a genuine interest can learn more from an early age.
Promoting Education Outside the Classroom
After-school programs and summer camps provide fun ways for girls to either discover or learn more about STEM. Though school is important, learning outside the traditional classroom environment allows kids who might otherwise fall through the cracks to get involved. Subject-matter experts, like-minded peers with similar interests, and opportunity give girls a chance to explore STEM without the pressures that accompany learning during the school year.
One of the best things about a STEM summer camp is that girls can try different things without fearing failure. They learn that trying, failing and trying again leads to success.
Discovering the world of STEM is fun and stress-free for girls in a summer camp environment. When things get challenging, more campers stick around to find solutions, instead of giving up.
Hiring Female Role Models
KTP hires and promotes female staff members who inspire and motivate campers. With appropriate mentors, girls feel more confident pursuing STEM interests.
Camp staffers realize their important role in leading youngsters toward success. So they don’t just teach facts and figures; they take a personal interest in each girl and encourage female campers to give their all and persevere. This type of leadership leads to more long-term success.
Camp instructors understand that mentoring youngsters in the summer builds self-confidence in girls. Having someone to look up to is especially helpful when females encounter unbalanced learning and working environments. Many successful female college students and professionals credit mentoring with helping to sustain them when times get tough.
Girls vs Boys: Do Their Brains Work Differently?
Recently, Science of Learning studied girls and boys to see if their brains processed STEM information differently. If they found any differences, teachers and schools were given the authority to alter teaching styles in order to encourage more equity in these areas.
The results might surprise you: Science of Learning found very little evidence that girls process information in ways different than boys. In fact, they actually discovered more similarities in learning styles than differences. They also discovered that both girls’ and boys’ brains function with equivalent levels of maturity. None of the tests showed that girls’ brains were more similar to other girls’ than boys’ – or vice versa.
Quite the contrary actually. Studies showed that girls use their brains the same way boys do when thinking about math.
However, the question remains: If boys and girls learn in similar ways, why do such gender differences exist in STEM careers?
Many studies suggest environmental factors, such as encouragement from parents and teachers, play a role. In fact, the more adult leaders provide opportunities and expose girls to STEM enrichment activities, the more that male/female gender gap disappears.
A Modern-Day Example
One of today’s top women in STEM, Nina Tandon, felt encouraged at a young age to involve herself in science. This propelled her to found and lead EpiBone, a company that grows bones for skeletal reconstruction. Doctors help correct bone defects in patients with the patient’s own stem cells. Tandon’s lab grows healthy bones as replacements.
How did she get started?
As a child, Tandon’s parents encouraged her to conduct science experiments when she searched for answers as to why her siblings suffered from night and color blindness. Teachers also played a part, answering her questions with enthusiasm. All of this gained her interest and led her to try more STEM subjects in and out of school, which further engaged her in scientific studies.
Many women, just like Nina, get involved in STEM areas as young girls, which often propels them forward into STEM careers as adults.
KTP’s STEM Summer Camps for Girls
The way KTP blends a positive camp environment with education outside the classroom and inspirational instructors provides girls a way to get more involved in STEM from a young age.
Join us in creating a more equitable society, where talented and creative females have just as much opportunity as males to enjoy science and technology. It all starts with girls camp. And it starts with KidzToPros’ summer camps.
Enroll your daughters in STEM camp today. The sky’s the limit when you consider their futures!