Camp REACH Young Women Make New Playground Design a Reality

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. - May 7, 2002 - Professor Denise Nicoletti sees a parallel between the redesign of a Worcester playground, and the fertile minds of young girls exposed to science and engineering. Prof. Nicoletti, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Director of REACH, has worked with teams of girls for the last six years showing them the excitement, challenge and creativity of learning about technology. Camp REACH (Reinventing Engineering and Creating New Horizons) is a residential program for Massachusetts girls who have completed sixth grade and who are interested in learning about engineering and technology. Each year three teams tackle design projects.

In 2000, a team of 10 campers helped design a new playground at the corner of Austin and Newbury streets in Worcester. Specifically, they worked on ground covering and landscaping.

On Saturday, May 11, the team members and their families will plant the flowers that they selected as part of a bigger neighborhood celebration.

"These girls were part of a team called the Piedmont Street Crime Prevention Team," said Prof. Nicoletti. "They really blossomed with this project and became very friendly with the neighborhood families who will be positively affected by this work."

The Camp REACH team will be working and celebrating from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, but the festivities will continue through mid-afternoon.

The goal of Camp REACH, which is hosted each summer at WPI, is to develop interest in engineering while building confidence and self-esteem, according to director Denise Nicoletti, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at WPI.

More information about the program can be found at https://www.wpi.edu/+reach.

WHAT: Camp REACH Team - Crime Prevention/Playground Planting Event
WHERE: Playground at the corner of Austin and Newbury Street, Worcester, Massachusetts
WHEN: Saturday, May 11, beginning at 9 a.m.

About WPI

WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education, and is recognized as one of the leading outcomes-oriented undergraduate programs preparing people for success in our technological world. Since its founding in 1865, WPI has broadened and perfected an influential curriculum that balances theory and practice.

This innovative and unique combination of educational methods, learning environment and a worldwide network of project centers is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, WPI supports the academic and research pursuits of over 2,500 students and 200 faculty pursuing opportunities to blend technological research and practice with societal needs, delivering meaningful real-world benefits.

For over a century, WPI has awarded advanced degrees in the sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as the management of technology and business. Our alumni include Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry; Harold Black, inventor of the principle of negative-feedback; Carl Clark, inventor of the first practical airbag safety system; Dean Kamen, inventor of the first wearable drug infusion pump; and many others who contribute to the transformation of our technological world.