When investigating summer camp options for your daughter, it’s important to consider and encourage her interests, especially when she shows interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Studies show that girls lose interest in pursuing math and science fields in middle school. However, research conducted by Girl Scouts shows that 74 percent of high school girls across the United States are interested in the field and subjects of STEM, and that those girls are high achievers who are exposed to a variety of opportunities and support systems.
An engineering summer camp is an ideal environment for nurturing your daughter’s interest in STEM, providing opportunities to participate in hands-on design challenges, meet real-life engineers, and visit engineering workplaces to see what it would really be like to work in engineering.
Here are three basic reasons why girls should enroll in engineering summer camp:
- Because they can. The stereotype that girls aren’t interested in STEM is just that, a stereotype. Girls need to be exposed to engineering early on so they can make informed decisions when choosing their career paths. “Engineering is not only meant for boys,” says Ana Quezada, a biomedical engineering student at the University of California, Riverside and 2012-2013 International Fellow, in an article published by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). “If you have any doubts, just take a look around you. Everything you see has some engineering in it. I believe girls will love engineering if they will only give it a try. It’s not only focused on cars and boys; it is more about creating new things from scratch just using your imagination.”
- Because engineering needs more women. Around the world, there’s a lack of women working in the engineering field. In the United States, only 13% of engineers are women. The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, with only 11% of the engineering workforce being female. There’s a major skills shortage in engineering, science, and technology professions overall, and it’s important that we inspire many more young people to take up careers in these crucial areas.
- Because the next big thing could be made by a girl. New technologies are developed every day, but if only one group of people is responsible for creating solutions, those technologies may not be the best they can be. That’s why diversity in the field of engineering is so important. NASA aerospace engineer Aprille Ericsson explains, “The different perspective that each human being brings forth toward solving problems and creating unique tools is required for us to continue to create awesome projects like Mars rovers, prosthetic limbs, or nano cancer treatments.”