SAN DIEGO, August 10, 2015 – Thirty pre-7th grade girls are returning to the headquarters of mobile and wireless technology leader Qualcomm in San Diego for two weeks of tinkering, coding and accelerated learning at the second annual “Qcamp for Girls in STEM.”
Qcamp is a three-year initiative to inspire middle school girls from San Diego Unified School District to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education – and, ultimately, careers. The program, which runs all day long for ten days, is targeted at keeping young women engaged in STEM fields, a massive deficiency in today’s educational system and workforce.
Held at the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™, Qcamp provides hands-on engineering experiences that empower the girls with rich insight into how technology is used in our everyday world. Qcampers engage in typical team engineering projects that include elements of problem-solving, group communication, rapid prototyping, documentation, and presentation.
The first generation of Qcampers started in the summer of 2014. These same thirty girls are returning this year to experience new opportunities to continue developing key skills in STEM fields. This year’s focus is on animals and the environment, and how technologies such as robots, apps and wireless communications play an increasingly critical role in our world.
After the first Qcamp in 2014, one participant shared, “It’s probably the best camp I’ve been to. I really like it. I like how it’s hands-on. I probably learned more in these two weeks than I would in a month of school.”
The camp is one key initiative in the Institute of International Education’s Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) program. WeTech aims to build a healthy pipeline of girls and women in STEM fields by linking them to opportunities that will inspire, engage and support them in entering and succeeding in tech careers.
Qualcomm is a key WeTech stakeholder, and has put together Qcamp for Girls in STEM to have a positive impact, particularly in middle school girls as it has been proven that is the time when female students lose interest for STEM subjects. The University of California, Berkeley is also involved in the camp for curriculum development and to conduct a research study on the impact of the program over a multi-year period.
During the summer camp 2015, Qcampers will:
- Work in teams to build hands-on projects that combine science and art, increase their knowledge and skills in engineering and coding, and use mobile devices as tools.
- Keep a scrapbook and write reflections through the two weeks of the camp, as well as learn about different STEM pathways and careers through speakers and field trips.
- Design projects include creating a light-up starfish and robotic stuffed pet, and designing, building, and coding an animated diorama that’s a home for their robotic stuffed animal.
WeTech is a consortium of dedicated organizations led by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to design and support a series of innovative activities that provide training, build networks and offer professional opportunities to help women and girls around the world enter STEM fields and succeed in technology careers. Launched at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in 2013, WeTech has engaged 27 companies, 200 mentors, 50 schools and universities, and 5,000 girls in 18 countries to date and was the subject of a videonarrated by Chelsea Clinton in 2014.
As the Manager of the WeTech initiative, IIE aims to expand the consortium of partners and grow its resources to $10 million over three years, in order to build out activities and expand to additional regions in Africa, India and the U.S. as well as to new countries, such as Brazil and China. IIE is actively seeking new partners and resources to expand the program’s reach and impact. Individuals and organizations that wish to participate should contact IIE at WeTech@iie.org.
About The Institute of International Education
IIE is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. Our vision is that educational, cultural and professional opportunities transcend borders to foster a peaceful and interconnected world where all people achieve their full potential; think and act as global citizens; and build inclusive, thriving communities.
Through its Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives, IIE provides opportunities for women worldwide to participate in cutting-edge training, professional development and exchange programs and pursue higher education. Through these programs, women develop and join networks of peers, mentors and experts and serve as effective leaders in the public and private sectors around the world.