Our thanks to Cheryl Cottrill for this guest post about the GIRLS Day Camps, where girls get hands-on learning experiences in the areas of engineering, math, and science, with the help of some real-life STEM career female mentors.
Connecting science to girls’ everyday life!
By Cheryl Cottrill, Executive Director of WiN-Canada
Extracting chocolate chips from cookies to show the principles of mining and making a model of the eye using a balloon, markers and an egg carton were just a couple of activities undertaken at two separate week-long GIRLS (Girls in Real Life Science) Day Camps in Tiverton, Ontario in July.
Hands-on experiments, using materials that can be found around any household, were enjoyed by a group of 25 girls aged 8-13 at each of the camps. The camps facilitated by Women in Nuclear (WiN)-Canada‘s Bruce chapter and subsidized by Bruce Power invited the expertise of Camp GEMS (Girls Engineering Math Science) (http://www.gemscamp.org) to deliver the program for the camp.
WiN’s partnership with Camp GEMS is a perfect fit as both organizations share the same philosophy around getting girls excited in science, math and engineering. The GIRLS Science Camp provides a fun, hands-on experience, using science, math and engineering principles, with a female mentor who has been successful in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers and connects science to everyday life. All this is done to awaken a life-long passion for science and ignite scientific curiosity so campers will ask intelligent questions around issues like climate change and energy options and hopefully go on to study these STEM subjects post-secondary. In Canada, only an estimated 21% of students enrolled in applied science and engineering are women.
One of the campers summed it up best, “GEMS helped me understand science in a very fun way.”
Additional information and pictures from the camp may be found on the WiN-Canada website at www.wincanada.org.