Baker College STEM Camp Helps Cadillac Girls Chase Their Dreams
"Girls don’t just go shopping, ya know, girls build stuff."
The message Kristin Parkes hopes this group of 5th through 7th graders ultimately takes away from Baker College’s Girls STEM Camp.
"It’s kind of neat for them to build up their confidence in ways that culturally or, ya know, maybe society has supported them in that way and maybe they’ll get that confidence since they’re with other girls that have like interests so they’re realizing it’s not just for boys, it’s for girls," she said. Kristen is coordinating the camp and is an instructor for the college’s education and early childhood education programs. The Cadillac Area Women’s Giving Circle is a sponsor of the camp.
The process here at camp involves learning about all sorts of jobs in the stem fields from professional women in the community — learning how to take vitals from a family physician, a lesson in water purification, even how to determine velocity.
That was Georgia’s favorite part. She built this CO2 dragster and raced against the other girls.
"It was just really fun to watch them go so fast and the anticipation of seeing who won was so much fun."
It was a rewarding effort.
"I’m very happy that I made this I am just really proud of it," Georgia said.
But it sure was no easy task.
"These pieces here you had to push really hard, it was actually hard," she said.
Most of these girls are on track to follow stem as a career path, but they’re learning skills that will help them in all aspects of life.
"The girls are kind of realizing that the things they learn in school right now they’ll be able to take into the career world and hopefully more of a STEM pathway for them," Kristin said.
"They taught me so much for life skills…and learning how to follow instructions that’s a big one."
It wasn’t all work and no play, though. They’ve made friends within just hours of meeting each other.
"I’m meeting new people and making lots of friends," Georgia said.
"They were getting each other’s phone numbers they were doing selfies with each other," Kristin said.
The amount of girls signed up has doubled since last year, and Kristen said she hopes it keeps increasing.