Luring girls to math, science

June 21, 2007

By hammersmith

[Source: Andrea Rivera, Arizona Daily Star] — By introducing middle school girls to Web page design, robotics and lip-gloss ingredients, IBM is hoping to spark their interest in math and science. Thirty incoming seventh- and eighth-graders at Flowing Wells Junior High School were invited to a weeklong Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering Camp, or EXITE Camp, last week at IBM Tucson. This is the sixth year IBM has hosted the camp and the fourth year it has partnered with the Flowing Wells School District. “I think it’s a privilege to be able to be here,” 12-year-old Sara Ochoa said. “It’s nice to learn what engineers have to do every day.”
Over the last four years, Stacey Chappell has accompanied 120 Flowing Wells students to the camp.

Chappell, the Skills for Success coordinator at the junior high, helps select the 30 participants. She picked two students from each of the district’s six elementary schools and the rest from the junior high. All had shown some interest in math and science and were recommended by teachers. “This program is amazing,” Chappell said. “There are no words to express how incredible this program is and what it does for our kids.”

IBM and Flowing Wells would like Sara and her peers, after completing the program, to take more math and science classes and consider pursuing careers in the fields of science and technology. “”I like technology,” said Sara, who is in seventh grade. “It’s interesting to see how complicated it is and how many things you can do with it.” Katie Dreeland, 18, was in the first group of students to attend the IBM camp. “EXITE did change my life,” she said. “It introduced me to the world of engineering.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]