Regis University Hosts STEM Camp for Middle School Girls

June 22, 2016

Denver, June 22, 2016 – In an effort to bolster discouraging statistics showing a disproportionately low number of women in some science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM fields, Regis University is hosting a STEM-focused camp for girls June 27 through July 1 at the University’s Northwest Denver Campus.

The camp will bring local middle school girls to campus for a week of hands-on workshops on topics ranging from computer systems to biodiversity to space exploration.  

“After middle school, girls’ interest in STEM drops,” said Quyen Hart, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Regis and a key organizer of the camp. “We want to keep their interest up and provide them with role models in the field.”

Hart, along with Trisha Litz, an assistant professor of information systems and a co-organizer, recognizes that it is important to focus on specifically encouraging girls to pursue STEM.

“In our society, unconscious bias contributes to gender stereotyping, that women and STEM don’t mix,” Hart said. “We want to reverse that stereotype.”

A portion of the girls are from communities with large populations of first-generation, low-income students who have not had access to STEM camps and workshops. This year, The Ball Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Ball Corporation, will continue its generosity and sponsor several of the girls and make it financially possible for them to attend. Ball Aerospace engineers also will be sharing insight about space, science and technology careers with the campers.

“A focus area for The Ball Foundation is to help develop the next generation of STEM professionals. We are proud to partner with Regis University on this camp that helps propel more girls into future careers in STEM,” said Kathleen Pitre, executive director of The Ball Foundation.

Participants will leave the camp with a variety of tools and projects, including a mini-computer and telescope, to continue their exploration of the STEM disciplines. Regis faculty also will mentor them throughout the year.