Engineering Summer Program Encourages Girls to Study STEM

Dr. Andrea Graham, the assistant professor of engineering and technology, has been awarded a $11,727 grant by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to an Engineering Summer Program for Girls.

Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Engineering Summer Program allows female middle school students who have demonstrated ability in STEM areas to explore these interests. The students work in teams on several STEM projects ranging from programming robots to building a drone. The camp was held June 5-9, 2017 at the Agriculture and Information Technology building.

“It is well known that females are drastically underrepresented in engineering disciplines, and while academia is making great strides in recruiting more women to major in engineering disciplines, we still lag behind in retention and persistence in the fields,” Dr. Graham said.

The goal of the program is to provide students with an early opportunity to explore engineering as a potential career, as well as prepare them for the academic rigors of engineering coursework. The camp is structured around three goals that define the various camp activities:

Enlighten-Presentations focused on changing and invalidating perceptions and stereotypes of girls’ math and science abilities.

Engage -Team based and hands-on problem-solving activities centered on real world issues.

Empower – Information and activities designed to encourage girls to pursue these careers without hesitation.

“This marks the ninth year that the Department of Engineering and Technology has offered a summer engineering program and only the third where the emphasis has been solely on middle school girls,” Dr. Graham said.