Over the summer, the Sussex County Technical School science room was transformed into an exciting laboratory for young girls.
Larissa Collins, a recent graduate of Sussex County Technical School, created a Girls Empowered by Math and Science (GEMS) STEM summer camp as part of her National Honor Society community service project last year. This summer, through the sponsorship of Thorlabs and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Hamburg, GEMS STEM camp welcomed 77 county-wide elementary and middle school girls to participate in its second run, at no cost to families.
Each day, the girls learned about an inspiring woman in a STEM field, tackled two advanced math and science concepts, and conducted related experiments. Solar ovens, bath bombs, and foam rockets were just three of the projects that complemented their math and science studies.
According to a 2017 survey by the United States Department of Commerce, only 24 percent of STEM jobs are occupied by women, proving that females are continually underrepresented in those respective fields. The mission of GEMS is aimed to change that. As a young woman with ambitions of entering a STEM-related field, Collins’ goal for the camp was to engage girls in math and science at a young age and equip them with the confidence to pursue them in the future.
The camp attendees had an empowering experience.
Said one camper, “I really liked how we learned about women we wouldn’t have learned about in school.” Another camper expressed her increased interest in science stating, To learn more about GEMS or the Kiwanis Club of Greater Hamburg, contact Anita Collins at (201) 400-0897.