Tag Archives: STEM camp

Richland College Works with Girls Inc. to Prepare Young Women for College and STEM Careers

For the sixth year in a row, Richland College partnered with Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, to host part of a four-week summer camp for young women focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. The girls were at Richland June 10-14.

“The girls are living proof that the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts,” said Simona Farcasiu, with the School of Engineering and Technology. “It takes a community to encourage girls to overcome challenges and pursue degrees and careers in STEM fields, and it was a great joy to watch the returning group of girls act as mentors to the rookies.”

This year, Richland College hosted two groups of girls – rookie eight graders and returning ninth graders. The returning group participated in biology/chemistry camp led by Libiya Shah and Becki Williams, where they learned about the water cycle and tested various water samples. The eighth graders participated in engineering/math camp, led by Simona Farcasiu and Praveena Dhayanithy, where they learned how math concepts are applied in engineering. Some applications included resistor color codes as applications of exponents and measuring sine waves as applications of trig.

In addition, both groups participated in a digital literacy camp led by Melinda Andrews, where they investigated their digital footprint and online safety. Also, the girls utilized their special reasoning skills when building lamps in art camp, led by Vicki Mayhan. Finally, both groups performed a beautiful dance routine symbolic of the Gestalt theory, “the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts,” led by Gina Sawyer.

Guests speakers during the camp included Martha Hogan, former executive dean for the School of Engineering and Technology, who spoke about the importance of education and addressed various pathways for achieving a degree and moving into a career in STEM. Sparsula Simmons, PMP, CSM manager at State Farm, led the girls into explorations of what it takes to be successful in a career and reminded the girls that they have the keys to success. Two Richland College police officers, Corporal Brooks and Officer Lopez, led a discussion with the girls about various issues. 

“Throughout the camp, the girls impressed us with their depth of thought, openness to new ideas and support for each other,” added Simona.

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas serves a diverse population of 1,000 girls, ages 6 to 18, in the Greater Dallas area. The organization focuses on the development of the whole girl through a combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment and research-based programming that equips girls to lead fulfilling and productive lives, break the cycle of poverty and become role models in their communities. For more information, visit https://girlsincdallas.org

Thanks to everyone who helped make this event another success!  


Girls Inc. “Eureka!” campers pose with Richland College speech communication faculty member Sherry Dean during the 2017 camp. Richland College and Girls Inc. Empower and Prepare Young Women for College and S.T.E.M. Careers at ‘Eureka!’ Summer Camp

For the fifth year in a row, Richland College is partnering with Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, to host the first half of a four-week summer camp for young women focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. The camp begins June 4 is one portion of the Girls Inc. “Eureka!” model program.

This year’s camp is comprised of a new cohort of campers entering 8th grade who have committed to the “Eureka!” program through their senior year of high school.

The Girls Inc. “Eureka!” program exposes girls to opportunities and experiences where they can see themselves as important parts of the STEM workforce of the future. While at Richland College, the girls will participate in STEM and arts sessions, including robotics, programming, clay art, printmaking, dance and digital literacy.

“The focus of the camp is to expose the girls to engineering topics and lab experiences designed to encourage them to choose careers in STEM fields,” said Simona Farcasiu, Richland College electronics faculty member and lead faculty for the Richland College portion of the camp. “Through exposure to a group of female role models from both industry and Richland College, we hope these girls will feel inspired to break through barriers.”

During the digital literacy session, the campers will learn about online searches, online scams, cyberbullying, safe online talk, how to present oneself online and more, with the goal being to provide the girls with necessary tools to keep themselves safe and conduct themselves appropriately in an increasingly digital world.

Along with STEM career awareness, college awareness is another important part of “Eureka!”. Not only does the program initiate the campers’ exposure to STEM fields, but while at Richland College it gives them a feel for college life as they interact with college students, faculty and staff.

“This joint camp with Girls Inc. is an excellent way to empower young women to pursue careers in STEM fields, while also allowing us to share the wonderful opportunities Richland College has to offer and the value of a higher education,” said Shannon Cunningham, executive vice president of academic affairs and student success at Richland College.

“Richland College is an integral partner for the Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas ‘Eureka!’ program,” said Erin Chupka, vice president of program services for Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas. “During the two weeks Girls Inc. girls spend at the Richland campus, they have the opportunity to participate in STEM workshops with dedicated and engaging Richland faculty and are exposed to life on a college campus. Richland does an exceptional job with our young girls, and they leave excited about college and career opportunities in STEM. As each group of girls move through the five-year program, the ‘Girls Inc. Experience’ equips them to navigate gender, economic and social barriers and to grow into healthy, educated and independent women. We are grateful for the support of our incredible partners like Richland in helping to change the face of STEM and improve economic mobility for our girls and their families.”

Richland College’s portion of the camp is sponsored in part by a $15,000 grant from State Farm. Upon completing their two weeks of camp at Richland College, the girls will be hosted for one week each at the University of North Texas at Dallas and Cedar Valley College.

The girls participating in the “Eureka!” program will spend their first two summers being exposed to higher education and STEM careers at Richland College and other nearby colleges before spending their third summer in externships that will provide more focused hands-on learning in several STEM career areas. Year four will be about college and career preparation, during which campers will receive assistance on how to navigate the college application process, from studying for standardized tests to writing admissions essays and applying for financial aid. In their final summer in the program, taking place prior to the start of their senior year of high school, the young women will each be placed into a paid internship in a STEM industry in which they have expressed interest.

In conjunction with the summer camp component of “Eureka!”, all cohorts meet approximately once per month throughout the school year to participate in STEM-related field trips, workshops, career panels and more.

Richland College offers a variety of STEM-related programs, including both traditional two-year degree programs and workforce-ready certificates designed for immediate employment, through its School of Mathematics, Science and Health Professions and the School of Engineering and Technology. Richland College’s science building, Sabine Hall, features cutting-edge science labs and equipment and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum-certified building for its minimal impact to the environment and eco-friendly design. Richland College also houses the Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Center, a space fully equipped with up-to-date, industry-quality technology that allows engineering and manufacturing students to gain relevant, hands-on experience and career-focused training.

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas serves a diverse population of 1,000 girls, ages 6 to 18, in the greater Dallas area. The organization focuses on the development of the whole girl through a combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment and research-based programming that equips girls to lead fulfilling and productive lives, break the cycle of poverty and become role models in their communities.


Richland College Earns Tech Titans Award Nomination for S.T.E.M. Summer Camp for Girls

The Metroplex Technology Business Council announced this morning that Richland College is a finalist for the Tech Titan of the Future University Level award for its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) summer camp for middle school girls. The camp is a partnership with Girls Inc. of Dallas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, and the University of Texas at Dallas.

The camp, called “EUREKA!”, empowers campers to see themselves as an important part of the STEM workforce of the future.

“We are delighted and grateful for this recognition from the Metroplex Technology Business Council,” said Sherry Dean, Ph.D., Richland College professor of speech communication. “In this unique partnership with Girls Inc. of Dallas and the University of Texas at Dallas, we are nurturing a cohort of eighth grade girls over a five-year period. We are growing their academic skills and empowering them to pursue STEM majors and future STEM careers. We believe this program will influence these young women for many years to come.”

The Tech Titans awards consist of 12 categories, with six to 10 nominations and up to four finalists in each category. The winners will be announced Aug. 21 at the Tech Titans Awards Gala at the Intercontinental Hotel in Addison, TX.

The Tech Titans Awards Gala, sponsored by AT&T, recognizes the most elite in North Texas technology – individuals currently transforming the high-tech industry and giving companies that competitive edge. The Tech Titans awards showcase the innovators, adopters and executors impacting the technology industry for the greater good.


Richland College Partners with Girls Inc. to Provide Middle School Girls a Glimpse Into College Life and Access to S.T.E.M. Programs and Careers
Girls huddled around a lab table.

Girls Inc. campers participate in lab activities at Richland College on their first day of camp Monday, June 22. Photograph by Paul Knudsen.

For the second year in a row, Richland College recently partnered with Girls Inc. of Dallas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, to host part of a four-week summer camp for middle school girls.

The camp, called “EUREKA!”, empowers campers to see themselves as an important part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workforce of the future. Richland College is hosting the first week, June 22-26, which focuses on “Water: Ubiquitous and Unique.” The girls are exploring various properties of Earth’s most important resource in the contexts of sustainability and ecology. The curriculum includes experiential learning activities in the sciences, 3-D art, learning strategies, college readiness and communications skills. Each afternoon, the girls also learn about the physics and fun behind the hula-hoop.

“The unique feature of this program is that we are intentionally nurturing a cohort of girls in STEM fields over a five-year period,” said Sherry Dean, Ph.D., Richland College professor of speech communication. “We will nurture them through high school graduation and help them secure successful higher education pathways in a STEM major. By the time these girls graduate, they will have both the knowledge and confidence to pursue a career in STEM.”

Upon completing their first week of camp at Richland College, the girls will go to the University of North Texas at Dallas, followed by the University of Texas at Dallas. The camp concludes at Cedar Valley College on July 24 with a closing ceremony featuring a rocket launch.

“The accumulation of learning and exposure to STEM over the course of four weeks could have a tremendous impact on a girl’s future,” said Girls Inc. of Dallas CEO Lori Palmer. “We hope to help girls become well equipped for the future by exposing them to diverse opportunities like careers in STEM and ongoing summer learning opportunities.”

The “EUREKA!” program is sponsored in part by SAP Labs, the TI Foundation, ExxonMobil and a $10,000 grant from State Farm that is specifically funding the first week of camp at Richland College.


Richland College Offers Summer Youth Camps in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Richland College will host three types of youth camps in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields this summer. These summer camps will introduce young students to various STEM industries, including programming and game design, animated and sculptural art and robotics.

“Richland College is thrilled once again to be hosting such exciting summer camps,” said Heather Lozano, Richland College’s assistant dean of continuing education and workforce training. “These camps are really a win-win for parents and their children—parents are sending their children to a wonderful learning environment, and the kids are having a great time at camp as they explore these STEM subjects.”

In partnership with the University of Texas at Dallas, Richland College will host a programming summer camp, where campers will learn Scratch, Logo, JavaScript and GameMaker. The sessions will be July 6-10 and July 27-31 and will be split into levels: level one will be for grades three through five, and level two will be for grades six through eight. Campers in level one will attend camp in half-day sessions from either 9 a.m.- noon or 1:30-4:30 p.m. and will be provided computers. Level two campers will attend full-day sessions from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and they will be required to bring a laptop.

New this summer, Richland College will be offering a dynamic art summer camp for children age seven to 12 in partnership with Dynamic Art Design. Campers will create unique animated art projects that incorporate visual designs that the students arrange as their own creations, combining art and technology while also challenging the children to explore the relationship of these ideas with the use of motors, gears and pulleys to take their artwork to an exciting new level. The three sessions for this camp take place June 8-12, July 6-10 and Aug. 27-31, with both morning and afternoon sessions offered from 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m. respectively.

Teaming up with Robots 4 U, Richland College will also offer its robotics summer camp. This camp combines computer science and engineering with daily robotics challenges and an end-of-the-week competition. Each session is mostly hands-on and includes individual design, building and creating up to seven robots. While beginners are welcome, all levels will find this camp challenging and fun. This camp is for ages seven to 17, and the three sessions take place July 22-26, July 20-24 and Aug. 17-21. Morning and afternoon sessions will be offered at 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m., and campers should bring their own lunches and drinks.

Registration is currently open for all camps. Space is limited, so early registration is suggested for all camps. For information on all summer camps, including links to registration, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/summercamps.

All three camps will be located on the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas.


First week of Girls Inc. camp at Richland gives girls inspiration, opportunities in STEAM fields

Girls to experience more learning, campus life at UT Dallas during second week

Twenty middle school girls explored science, technology, mathematics, arts and engineering (STEAM) concepts and discovered the joy of learning this week at Richland College.

These Dallas-area 8th grade girls were selected to participate in Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp, a two-week learning experience designed by Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, Richland College and The University of Texas at Dallas – Science and Engineering Education Center (SEEC).

The first week of camp, held June 16-20 at Richland College, focused on “Water: Ubiquitous and Unique.” The girls learned about the various properties of Earth’s most important resource in the contexts of sustainability and ecology. The curriculum included experiential learning activities in the sciences as well as in 3-D art, learning strategies and college readiness skills. Each afternoon, the girls experienced the physics and fun behind the hula hoop.

Sherry Dean, Richland College speech communication professor and Girls Inc. board member, says the week was an amazing success.

“We saw the girls grow a lot,” Dr. Dean says. “It was a very intense learning community. This week sets the stage for thinking routines and helping the girls see connections. The girls created ePortfolios to showcase their experiences. They will be able to look back on this week and realize how they’ve become stronger, smarter and bolder.”

Dr. Dean said another important goal was achieved — introducing the girls to a pathway more and more students take to pursue higher education: the community college experience. Richland has some 20,000 credit students and offers Richland Collegiate High School (RCHS), a dual-credit charter high school.

“We planted important seeds for them,” she says. “The girls really enjoyed being on the campus and we introduced them to RCHS. They were excited to consider options. I believe we had a positive influence on their aspirational goals for higher education.”

Next week, June 22-27, the girls will experience campus life at UT Dallas, living in dorm suites, finding out what it takes to apply for college and participating in learning activities in bioengineering, nanotechnology, forensic science, robotics and space science.

At UT Dallas, the girls also will have the opportunity to connect with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals from the university and Dallas’ business community. Evenings will be filled with fun activities such as karaoke, Zumba and movies. The week culminates with a field trip to Texas Instruments.

Expanding the horizons of the young women selected to participate is a significant goal of the camp, says Lori Palmer, CEO of Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas.

“Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp will awaken the potential in middle school girls as they explore the life of a full-time college student and discover opportunities in STEM fields,” Ms. Palmer says. “We encourage girls to explore STEM fields because research demonstrates that women employed in STEM careers earn an average of 33 percent more than those employed in other fields.”

Bernine Khan, UT Dallas’ SEEC director, says UT Dallas is thrilled to host week two of the camp because while the university is distinguished for its strength in STEM education and research, females make up only about 43 percent of the student body.

“Females, in general, represent a hugely untapped resource of potential STEM professionals in our nation, and when compounded with low socio-economic and cultural issues, the pathway to a successful STEM career is stymied,” Dr. Khan says. “The program introduces these girls to the flavors of STEM careers through interactions with female STEM professionals. If the girls ultimately choose a non-STEM field, it will be an informed choice with the full knowledge that their intrinsic ability had no bearing on their decision.”

Learn more about Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas at www.girlsincdallas.org, Richland College at www.richlandcollege.edu and The University of Texas at Dallas at www.utdallas.edu.


Girls Inc. camp at Richland, UT Dallas to give girls inspiration, opportunities in STEM fields

This summer, Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas is giving middle school girls an amazing opportunity to explore science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) concepts and a pathway to higher education through a partnership with Richland College and The University of Texas at Dallas – Science and Engineering Education Center (SEEC).

The three organizations worked together to develop the Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp, a two-week learning experience for 20 Dallas-area girls entering 8th grade, to expand the horizons of the young women selected to participate.

“Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp will awaken the potential in middle school girls as they explore the life of a full-time college student and discover opportunities in STEM fields,” says Lori Palmer, CEO of Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas. “We encourage girls to explore STEM fields because research demonstrates that women employed in STEM careers earn an average of 33 percent more than those employed in other fields.”

Bernine Khan, UT Dallas’ SEEC director, says the camp is designed to help girls dream big. The University of Texas at Dallas is ascending the ranks, quickly becoming recognized as one of the top schools by the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. While the university is distinguished for its strength in STEM education and research, females make up only about 43 percent of the student body.

“Females, in general, represent a hugely untapped resource of potential STEM professionals in our nation, and when compounded with low socio-economic and cultural issues, the pathway to a successful STEM career is stymied,” Dr. Khan says. “The program introduces these girls to the flavors of STEM careers through interactions with female STEM professionals. If the girls ultimately choose a non-STEM field, it will be an informed choice with the full knowledge that their intrinsic ability had no bearing on their decision.”

The first week of the Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp, held June 16-20 at Richland College, will focus on “Water: Ubiquitous and Unique.” The girls will explore the various properties of Earth’s most important resource in the contexts of sustainability and ecology. The curriculum includes experiential learning activities in the sciences as well as in 3-D art, learning strategies and college readiness skills. Each afternoon, the girls will learn about the physics and fun behind the hula hoop.

Sherry Dean, Richland College speech communication professor and Girls Inc. board member, says Richland College administrators see the camp as an intentional effort to grow and nurture future female scientists and engineers while introducing the girls to a route more and more students take to pursue higher education – the community college experience. Richland has some 20,000 credit students and offers a dual-credit charter high school.

“Many people do not know that 42 percent of all first-time college freshman in 2013 were enrolled at two-year institutions such as Richland College,” Dr. Dean says. “We anticipate that many Girls Inc. girls will also make Richland an important part of their higher education experience.”

The second week of the Girls Inc. SMART Summer College Camp (June 22-27) will immerse girls in campus life at UT Dallas. The girls will live in university dorm suites, find out what it takes to apply for college and participate in learning activities in bioengineering, nanotechnology, forensic science, robotics and space science.

At UT Dallas, the girls also will have the opportunity to connect with STEM professionals from the university and Dallas’ business community. Evenings will be filled with fun activities such as karaoke, Zumba and movies. The week culminates with a field trip to Texas Instruments.

Learn more about Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas at www.girlsincdallas.org, Richland College at www.richlandcollege.edu and The University of Texas at Dallas at www.utdallas.edu.


Perfect formula for summer fun at Richland College

STEM14

Summer + Richland College camps = tons of fun and learning!

Richland College is offering two types of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) camps for children ages 7-17 this summer.

Three sessions of Programming & Game Design camp will be available through a partnership with The University of Texas at Dallas. This camp features several levels: Level 1 (3rd graders and up) – animations using Scratch and animations using Logo and advanced Scratch; Level 2 (Level 1 graduates and 6th graders) – programming using JavaScript: and Level 3 (Level 2 graduates) – introduction to programming in Java and introduction to programming in C++.

Five sessions of robotics camp will be available through Robots-4-U. During this camp, youngsters ages 7 to 17 will learn about science, problem solving, teamwork and technological skills, gaining valuable hands-on experience and knowledge as they build robots.

The first session for both camps starts in June. Class sizes are limited, so campers need to register early.

For more information, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/summercamps or contact Heather Lozano at 972-238-6918 or hlozano@dcccd.edu.