Sixth-Grade Girls Engineer Community Service Projects in Camp REACH

Regional Administrator of U.S. Labor Department's Women's Bureau Will Speak

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, MA - Over the past two weeks, teams of designers have built a Web site for a local agency, created a revitalized office layout for AIDS counselors, and redesigned the storage space in a Worcester daycare center. The designers are all girls who will enter seventh grade in September. Since July 22, they've been participating in WPI's Camp REACH, a program designed to open their eyes to what engineers, mathematicians and scientists do and how they help our society, and learn about the skills they'll need to pursue careers in these disciplines.

The campers will present their projects to their sponsors and to Camp REACH staff, fellow campers and guests beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, in Atwater Kent 116 (Newell Hall) on the WPI Campus. Representatives of several of the corporations who funded this year's program are also expected to attend. Jacqueline Cooke, New England regional administrator of the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, will speak at the event.

Now in its fifth year, Camp REACH (Reinventing Engineering and Creating New Horizons) is WPI's summer residential program for girls who have completed sixth grade. Denise Nicoletti, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, who co-founded the program, is the camp's director. In addition to WPI, funding for Camp REACH has been provided by AQUAL Clinical Research Services, the Engineering Information Foundation, Fidelity Investments, General Motors, Intel, the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science, Mercury Computer, Raytheon, Technical Expositions and Conferences (TEC) and the TJX Foundation.

The following projects will be presented:
  • Storage Space for the Children's Garden daycare center, Pat Hare, director.
  • Marissa Fratturelli of Leominster, Nitya L. Durvasula of Northborough, Ariel Beatrice Sands of Paxton, Agnes Nam of Shrewsbury, Stephanie L. Kerber of Sturbridge, Colleen McKay Stanton of Upton, Katie Rich of Westborough, and Alyshia Abbascia, Lauren Monique Lagace and Yevgeniya Oransky of Worcester.
  • A New Office Arrangement for Counselors at AIDS Project Worcester, Edla Bloom, director.
  • Danielle Ferry of Auburn, Bianca Marie Cruz of Fitchburg, Abigail Page Cooney of Holden, Chelsea Catherine Sheehan of Millbury, Carissa L. Niro of Milford, Alison Bridget Medlar of Shrewsbury, and Rosemary Benitez, Jillian M. O'Donnell and Megan P. Quick of Worcester.
  • A Web site for the Central Massachusetts Regional Employment Board, Bruce L. Dahlquist, associate director.
  • Liana Fay Christy of Douglas, Chelsea Elizabeth Drew of Leominster, Kristen Leigh Magnuson of Paxton, Rebecca Marie Taylor of Rutland, Julianne D.Jensen and Amy Zhou of Shrewsbury, Jennifer L. Giard of Whitinsville, and Jody Elizabeth Borhani, Caroline Tanya Nembhard and Hannah Kilcoyne of Worcester.

Founded in 1865, WPI was a pioneer in technological higher education. Early on, it developed an influential curriculum that balanced theory and practice. Since 1970 that philosophy has been embodied in an innovative, outcomes-oriented undergraduate program. With a network of project centers that spans the globe, the university is also the leader in globalizing technological education.