This summer marks the 16th year that seventh grade girls will come to Camp Reach at WPI to be introduced to principles of engineering via hands-on experiences. The camp, which began on July 22 and goes through Aug. 3, allows girls to work in teams on real world issues for “client organizations” in the Worcester area.
This year’s campers will assist Central Mass Housing Alliance Donations Clearinghouse, Friendly House/ Interfaith Hospitality Network, and Regional Environmental Council, all of Worcester, by using engineering skills to make recommendations for improvements to the groups' spaces. Sponsors include Intel Massachusetts, Inc., EMC Corp., Raytheon NCS, Teradyne and WPI alumni and friends of Camp Reach.
Last November, Camp Reach received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, awarded by the White House to recognize the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering—particularly for those who are underrepresented in these fields.
Studies indicate that the middle school years are a critical time to encourage girls' involvement in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. For the past 16 years, Camp Reach has been successfully working to address this need for engagement. In one study, almost 18 percent of Camp Reach participants intended to pursue an engineering major in college, compared with 2.9 percent in the control group and a national average of 2.5 percent for women. Additionally, 47 percent of Camp Reach participants have chosen to major in a STEM discipline in college, as compared with 29 percent in the control group.
Opportunities for Coverage
Career Explorations Dinner – Invited Professional Engineers: Tuesday, July 31, at 6 p.m., Campus Center Odeum. Employees of corporate sponsors and Camp Reach alumnae who have pursued engineering careers will be present at this event to network with current campers.
Project Presentations and Closing Ceremony: Friday, Aug. 3, at 3:30 p.m. in Atwater Kent, Room 116. During this event on the last day of Camp Reach, campers will present the work they have completed and their recommendations to clients.
30 girls from Acton, Ashburnham, Dorchester, Framingham, Groton, Hubbardston, Lexington, Lunenburg, Marlborough, Millbury, Princeton, Roxbury, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sterling, Upton, Uxbridge, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westborough, Worcester, and Bristol, R.I. Assisting will be nine high school students who are all alumnae of Camp Reach.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Mass.
More Information: Additional information about Camp Reach can be found at here.