Monday, June 17, 2013

Camp gives girls hands-on experience with technology

A University of Illinois Springfield professor hopes she can convince two dozen middle school girls just how fascinating computer science can be.

But here’s the catch: She has just two days to make it happen.

At a time when the number of women interested in computer science is declining rapidly, Girl Tech 2013, a two-day camp at UIS that started Thursday, aims to get young girls interested in the field and strengthen their technology skills by giving them hands-on opportunities, said Mary Sheila Tracy, a computer science instructor at the university.

“The key to making this successful is to find something that engages the girl as well as teaches them, and teaching really becomes secondary,” Tracy said, adding that the camp, which is in its fifth year, is geared toward girls in middle school, an age when interest begins to decline.

“Girls in middle school make a decision somewhere along the way to walk away from science, technology, engineering and math,” Tracy said.

The story was featured by the State Journal-Register on June 14, 2013.

Read the story online