STEM… it’s not just for him anymore

Kids College ReleaseOur society has historically reflected the notion that girls and women don’t belong in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). However, they’re getting a very different message from Kids College this summer. STEM classes will be held all summer—some exclusively for middle and high school girls.
“At almost every step of the STEM education ladder, we see girls walk away,” Kids College Director Teri Zurfluh said. “By seventh grade, many girls are ambivalent about these fields, and by the end of high school, fewer girls than boys plan to pursue STEM in college.
“But the low number of women and girls pursuing STEM fields is not a status quo we can live with. It has significant implications for women’s financial security, economic growth, and global innovation. We are going to do our part of changing this trend at Kids College this summer with lots of STEM programs for everyone, and a couple of really exciting sessions that will be just for girls.”
During the week of July 18 through July 22, Kids College will offer Ozobot Odyssey: My Tiny Robots for rising 7th – 9th grade girls from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Workforce Development Center in Franklin. Ozobots are the one of the world’s smallest smart robots, a toy that opens the doors of computer science, STEM education, robotics and coding. There will also be two additional offerings of this exciting class for all rising 4th – 8th graders.
There will also be some career academies offered this summer that have a STEM focus. Participants in the Criminal Justice Career Day will explore careers in criminal justice with veterans in the field, including crime scene investigation and forensics. One of the sessions in July will be a girls-only session.
Kids College has been steadily growing their STEM offerings every summer and will have a variety of opportunities for students to experiment with this season: Lego engineering, animation, edible engineering, and a couple of science sampler weeks where students can dabble in chemistry, physics, biology, etc., as well as a nursing and health career academy for students interested in learning about nursing and firefighting.
“Our mission at Kids College is to help students “Explore, Experiment and Discover” and we’re hoping that this summer we’ll help some of our young women explore and experiment with STEM topics and discover that STEM is really fun and not something to be afraid of or avoid,” Zurfluh said.
Kids College, the popular summer enrichment series sponsored by the Division of Workforce Development of Paul D. Camp Community College, offers unique workshops for students ages 7 – 18, will run weekdays at our Franklin PDCCC location from June 20 to Aug. 12 and our Smithfield location from June 27 to Aug. 12.
Registration is now open at both Kids College locations in Smithfield and Franklin. The summer catalog and registration materials are available at For more information, call 757.569.6058 or email