Today, the iBIO’s EDUCATE Center kicked off its fourth annual STEMgirls Summer Camp hosted at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan. This week-long learning experience provides 130young girls (grades 3-8) with opportunities to learn more about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through challenging and fun hands-on activities.

Campers will take part in a wide range of activities throughout the week, using engineering and design principles to solve different challenges:

  • Monday, June 17“Conservation-Supporting Succession in Forest Preserves”– Campers will be building an adjustable projectile launcher to direct their “potassium permanganate ball” to a specific quadrant of our “forest preserve”. Campers will use an interactive simulator for that landing spot to watch the results of their fire.
  • Tuesday, June 18: “pH – The Effect of Pollution on our Water Supply”– Campers will model the nature of water molecules and how they interact with molecules involved in pollution. The alteration of pH and its effects on the materials around us will be explored in some chemical exploration including a titration to balance the pH.
  • Wednesday, June 19: “Recycling-Solutions for Sorting”– Campers will be building a multi-step sorting machine to separate a batch of materials to be recycled. They will make a recycling line that includes two or more of the following: conveyer belt (flat or incline), a sorter for paper recyclables, a sorter for metal recyclables, a sorter for glass and plastics of various sizes.
  • Thursday, June 20: Field Trip Day– Campers will spend the morning at the Lake County Forest Preserves exploring an age-appropriate experience in nature and conservation study. During the afternoon they will experiment with stream tables to explore the changes in landscape that result in both natural and man-made variables.
  • Friday, June 21: Parent Panel and Family Day– Parents of campers will attend a panel discussion providing guidance on local resources available to support their daughter’s interest in STEM and identify career pathways for their daughters. After the panel session, parents will join their campers for a day of family activities.

Campers hail primarily from communities where access to STEM programing is limited. STEMgirls is supported by some of Illinois’ leading life sciences companies including Abbott, Astellas, Horizon Therapeutics and Lundbeck.

“This incredible week of learning and development for young girls interested in STEM wouldn’t be possible without the generous support from our donors,” said Ann Vogel, senior vice president of Charitable Programs at iBIO. “Their recognition of the growing need for STEM education early-on provides these young girls with an enriching experience that leads to opportunities they otherwise might not have access to.”

At the end of the week, parents of the STEMgirls campers can attend a panel discussion featuring speakers from Abbott and Astellas to learn more about how they can support their daughters interest in STEM and connect them to various community support organizations.