Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No boys allowed?

I think single sex education is very beneficial. Kids can really buckle down and study when they don't have to worry about attracting or performing for the opposite sex. But if there were special programs excluding young girls from getting a step up to a good career in the sciences, I can't even imagine the line of lawyers ready to take that case.

Here's a few summer engineering programs just for girls I noticed, beginning with Ohio State. I also noted that "fun" and "social life" were promoted features of these camps. So that's what it takes to attract girls to the sciences?
    The Ohio State Women in Engineering Program is still accepting applications to the 2009 CheME & YOU @ OSU Summer Camp, a six-day residential summer program for girls who will be entering ninth grade in the fall of 2009. Participants will live in a university dorm and will explore chemical engineering through fun, hands-on activities. The camp will run from Sunday (8/16)-Friday (8/21). Applications must be postmarked by Friday (5/15).
At Penn State we have the MTM Engineering Camp for girls--An engineering day camp for girls entering grades 9 - 12 in Fall 2009. Hands-on engineering design projects and career experiences featuring 5 engineering disciplines such as: Architectural Engineering, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Product Design & Innovation/Industrial Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, each offered in one-day modules. Choose to attend one day, or all five! ($30/day or $125/week) A fun way to explore careers and meet friends! Full scholarships are available.
    At Purdue they call it EDGE. Session I: July 19 - July 24, 2009, Session II: July 26 - July 31, 2009. EDGE is for students who have just completed 9th or 10th grade. Apply your creativity to hands-on engineering projects with teammates! Meet women engineers who are shaping our world! Discover how your talents can lead to an exciting career in engineering! Have fun working with current Purdue engineering students!
At the University of Cincinnati, the hands-on camp, which ran July 28 to Aug. 1, 2008, allows young women in grades 9 through 12 to explore careers in engineering as they work with University of Cincinnati faculty.

"Kathy Johnson, director of undergraduate student enrollment in the College of Engineering at UC, says that the camp helps motivate high school students. “It’s a chance for students to come see if they are interested in math, science and engineering,” she says. “Through the camp, the girls get a great overview of what’s available. They get to meet our faculty members and receive information on all the disciplines offered here at UC.”
    My alma mater, the University of Illinois, calls it Girls Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science, or G.A.M.E.S. It is an annual week long camp, designed to give academically talented middle school aged girls an opportunity to explore exciting engineering and scientific fields through demonstrations, classroom presentations, hands-on activities, and contacts with women in these technical fields."
Oregon State University has a variety of engineering summer camps for all ages, and when the boys are very young, they are allowed to attend, but by middle school the organizers are only looking for girls. So Mom, don't get his hopes up--send the little duffer to basketball camp--it's probably co-ed.
    The Women in Engineering Summer Camp at the University of Dayton is a Sunday-through-Friday experience that gives girls the chance to dabble in engineering through hands-on, learn-by-doing activities they can't get in high school [why not?].

    “Guided by UD professors, you'll conduct experiments, innovate, make cool stuff, take things apart — then put them back together again — in engineering classrooms and laboratories on campus. You'll visit a job site. Meet women engineers. And spend time checking out new innovations and more.”
They've been running these special science camps for women at least since I was involved back in the 1980s (through the libraries). When will the public schools be able to pull off attracting girls to the sciences without denying boys the same summer opportunities?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I went to camp, the "fun" was meeting the new guys. This doesn't sound like anything that would have appealed to me!