Femineer Program serves to inspire with 2021 summer camp

by Shem Rivera and Mark Lizano, May, 4, 2021

Cal Poly Pomona and San Diego State’s colleges of engineering are co-hosting multiple four-day virtual camps for young women currently in middle school and high school nationwide. These upcoming Femineer summer camps provide students with the knowledge and preparation to pursue a career in STEM.

According to Kristina Rigden, director of outreach programs for the college, this will be the first summer that the program is offered virtually. Camps will only last between one to two hours a day depending on which students attend.

“Since the format is virtual, they will learn a condensed version of Wearable Technology,” Rigden said, discussing the program’s courses. “The Intro to Engineering is more of our Femineer challenges that we offer through the academic year.”

Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies. Color transparency by David Bransby, 1942. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division. https://www.loc.gov/resource/fsac.1a34456/

The program provides students the opportunity to learn about the CPP engineering program and its curriculum from professors and student volunteers. Participants have the option to choose between Wearable Technology, Intro to Engineering or both classes depending on their grade level.

To make the virtual camp engaging, the program is introducing a polytechnic twist in the form of a do it yourself challenge. Students will create projects such as a boat float, a copper tape led greeting card or a hydraulic flower to name a few. Also, students will be able to create a vision board, allowing them to share ideas on what they want to do in the future.

Before the program, back in 2012 the percentage of women enrolled in CPP’s College of Engineering was only between 12% to 13%, according to Nicole Gutzke, outreach program liaison. That number has now grown to 21%.

“Twenty-one percent is actually the national average for females enrolled and graduating in engineering, Gutzke said. “We are thrilled about the progression the engineering program has made within the last eight years.”

There are currently 30 grade schools involved in the Femineer Program.

Maisie Ferrer, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student, since joining the program, realized how much she wants to help young women in STEM.

“Growing up as a woman in engineering, I did not get any exposure until college,” Ferrer said. “I think it is really cool to have this program at a young age because it shows how smart these kids

are. You see these kids problem solving and working together, which is why I want to continue volunteering and help get the word out.”

The camps will be held over three different sessions: June 14-17, June 21-24 and July 12-15. To register for the camp, it will cost $100 for introduction to engineering and $300 for Wearable Technology. Students may register online at the Femineer webpage until registration is full.

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