Thirty girls from Syracuse-area high schools are the first to complete the region’s inaugural science, technology, engineering and math summer camp. The week-long CNY Stem Summer Camp for Young Women was hosted by Le Moyne College. Camp director Meriel Stokoe says many similar camps end in middle school.
“That's why this camp was so perfect," Stokoe said. "I've heard from a few of them that they kind of aged out of stuff. So, I'm hoping in the future that people won't forget about high school girls.”
The camp connected the girls with team-based hands-on STEM projects, from robotics to coding games for mobile devices. Le Moyne President Linda LeMura hoped to inspire the girls with the educational path of a distinguished local alumnus.
“Jeanette Epps went to Corcoran High School, then went on to Le Moyne College for her Bachelor's degree in physics and math, then on to to the University of Maryland for her Ph.D in aerospace engineering. And now, next year, she's about to go into space as one of three African American astronauts on the planet.”
Ailiyah Morris is a sophomore at Syracuse’s Institute of Technology. She wants to be one of many to increase the very low percentage of women in STEM education and at technology firms.
“It's surprising but a little upsetting, too because we still have the skills men have," Morris said. "The way we're still not equal to the world right now...we're here, we're half of the population on the earth. We can do anything.”
The high school girls STEM summer camp is supported by AT&T, along with the CNY stem hub and Partners for Education and Business.