The Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO), dedicated to inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping restore America’s leadership in technology education, today launched its 2023 STEMgirls Summer Camp at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Preparatory High School at 3106 Belvidere Rd., Waukegan, IL.

Over the next five days, 118 rising 3rd to 8th-grade girls will explore a wide variety of areas related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This year’s exploration centers around engineering to limit the human impacts of natural and man-made disasters. Topics explored will include earthquakes, landslides and dams, meteor strikes, and oil spills. All campers will visit the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago for a field trip on storm science. As always, iBIO emphasizes career opportunities for the girls who will be entering the workforce in the next five to ten years. Over 60 STEM professionals from the local STEM community will volunteer for the event, which is intended to educate and inspire students and their families.

“The exploration of real-world problems, industry expertise, and career connections our donors provide are what make STEMgirls unique,” said iBIO Senior Vice President Ann Vogel. “Our campers won’t just learn about natural and man-made disasters, they will be challenged to engineer against them. And they get to do all this while working alongside industry volunteers who provide encouragement and share their STEM career paths and experiences.”

On Friday, June 23, iBIO welcomes camper families to join them for a Family Day and STEM Careers Event. Families will enjoy learning about exciting careers in STEM from Abbott panelists, visiting with other local employers and community organizations focused on STEM at the exhibit hall, and working together with their campers to build a bridge able to withstand an earthquake. Family Day is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Registration is required.

Without sponsors, iBIO’s STEMgirls Summer Camp would be impossible.
Every iBIO program and activity is made possible through the generous donations of individuals, foundations, and corporations. Abbott is the lead sponsor for the 2023 STEMgirls Summer Camp. With Abbott’s support, all STEMgirls campers will take home an iBIO STEM Kit to explore solar power with their families. The hands-on STEM Kit provides materials, written instructions in English and Spanish, links to an instructional video and profiles of women working in STEM.

“We’re excited to continue partnering with iBIO and STEMgirls for their annual camp, giving young people an opportunity to learn about the impact of STEM in our world through engaging hands-on activities,” said John Frels, vice president of research and development in Abbott’s core diagnostics business. “By creating enriching educational opportunities for children to explore STEM from an early age, we can empower and inspire their interest in pursuing STEM-related education and careers.”

Other Chicago-area healthcare companies that provided financial support for the camp include Horizon Therapeutics and the Steans Family Foundation.

After this year’s camp ends on June 23, iBIO will post photos and videos highlighting many of this year’s activities on social media: @IllinoisBiotech, @iBIOSTEM.

Photos from Day 1 of Camp