LAKELAND, Fla. – Dozens of high school girls from the West Central Florida region will have the unique opportunity to experience total immersion in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) during the very first Girl Scouts Camp CEO STEM at Florida Polytechnic University July 26-28.
About 30 girls in grades 10-12 will spend two days and nights on the iconic Florida Poly campus in Lakeland, where they will connect with accomplished female professionals in STEM fields while developing leadership and teamwork skills through hands-on activities.
“We’re thrilled because this is our first STEM-focused leadership weekend ever and we’re one of the first councils through all of the U.S. to do it,” said Alexandra Thiele, STEM and program specialist of Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. “It’ll be the first time the girls get to spend the night at a university like an actual college student and what a better location than Florida Poly, a fully STEM university.”
The keynote speaker will be former astronaut Nicole Stott, who retired from NASA in 2015 after a 27-year career. The camp will also feature interactive activities inside Florida Poly’s Innovation Labs where the participants will learn about high-tech topics such as 3D printing, drones, and augmented reality. In addition, they will build a hydraulic arm as part of an engineering project and will take part in an entrepreneurship workshop.
“This experience will be like none other for these young females,” said Michelle Powell, senior associate director of admissions at Florida Poly. “The technology they will have access to, the activities they will complete, and the overall experience will give them a platform to say, ‘Yes, I can do this and I am really good at it!’”
Powell said that through this partnership with Girl Scouts of West Central Florida to host events like Camp CEO STEM and STEMapalooza, Florida Poly seizes the opportunity to optimize efforts to make a significant impact on girls’ education and their future careers.
“We need young females to break outside their comfort zones and forget their preconceptions about STEM,” Powell said. “We want them to realize that STEM is exciting, it is ever changing, it is helping people, and it is making a difference.”
Director of Communications