In June, Girls Inc. of Tarrant County and TCU hosted a camp for girls at in collaboration with the TCU Society of Women Engineers student organization, IEEE student chapter at TCU, TCU Circle of Sisterhood, and TCU faculty members led by Associate Professor Morgan Kiani. The engineering camp, aimed to introduce girls ages 12-14 to various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines, involved a week-long series of experiences in STEM programs such as engineering, nursing, art, geology and biology. The camp was advertised and offered to rising 7th-8th graders through Girls Inc., and the camp activities and agenda was coordinated by Kiani.
Biology major Suzanna Camp and speech-language pathology major Alexis Hodge served as student mentors during the camp.
“We did some fun activities throughout the week such as touring the geology department with the young girls, walking through the Monnig Meteorite Gallery, and learning about how they use science and art with technology and drones with the School of Art,” said Hodge.
“One day, they got to look at fish eggs at different stages of development where you can see the heartbeat. Through this, they learned how to use a high-power microscope that are in the labs here,” Camp said. “The girls [in the camp] got to learn from female professors of the various departments, and ask them how they got to where they were, what challenges they faced, advice about how to enter high school, and how to be a woman in STEM and be successful.”
The Girls Inc. STEM Program Coordinator Rebecca Rueda said, “The camp was amazing – the girls learned so much with the TCU professors and they learned about technology, circuits, earth science and medical fields. The TCU students were also amazing, and made close relationships with the girls as mentors. I hope this will continue on – it is very meaningful to the girls to have formed these relationships.”
Kiani said, “Through STEM experiences for youth, we hope to educate and motivate students, awaken their critical thinking, and prepare them to become responsible, skilled and caring scientists and citizens to face tomorrow’s challenges.”
“Engagement of K-12 students with fundamental principles of science and technology will most likely result in preparing and creating the future generation of scientists and engineers, who may lead our industries and academic centers, said Kiani.
“I could have not have successfully hosted this camp without the help of my esteemed colleagues from TCU, and in particular from the College of Science & Engineering, School of Nursing, library, School of Art, and the admission office,” Kiani said.