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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.


Richland College, Missouri S&T sign transfer agreement
MissouriS&T-1

From left: Debra Schatz, Missouri S&T’s assistant director of admissions; Richland College President Kay Eggleston; Martha Hogan, executive dean of Richland College’s School of Engineering, Business and Technology; Richland College Engineering Professor Roderick Crowder sign a transfer agreement on March 19 between the two institutions.

Representatives from Richland College and Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) signed a transfer articulation agreement on March 19 to provide qualifying Richland students complete academic transfer access to Missouri S&T to earn a Bachelor of Arts/Science in engineering.

The signing was conducted by Richland College President Kay Eggleston; Martha Hogan, executive dean of Richland College’s School of Engineering, Business and Technology; Richland College Engineering Professor Roderick Crowder; and Debra Schatz, Missouri S&T’s assistant director of admissions, representing Missouri University S&T Chancellor Cheryl Schrader

A similar signing was held last month at Missouri S&T. Approximately 2,000 of Richland College’s 18,500 students are enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields of study, including 600 students in engineering.

Developing transfer agreements is an important part of Richland College’s mission to encourage student learning success and degree completion. Richland maintains transfer agreements for degrees ranging from journalism to engineering to photography to digital forensics with institutions including the University of Texas at Dallas, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology and the University of North Texas.


Area high schoolers attend ‘Engineering the Future’

Richland College hosted 247 area high school students for “Engineering the Future,” a special event highlighting the engineering and technology fields of study. The event, held Feb. 17 and Feb. 19, coincided with National Engineers Week. Students from North Dallas, Garland, North Garland, Naaman Forest and Conrad high schools participated in various activities including a rocket launch, meetings with college and university representatives, special presentations by Richland College and Texas A&M University-Commerce officials and a campus tour.