Ellis student to run STEM careers camp for girls

Ellis senior Chelsea Canedy '13 has been so inspired by STEM and robotics here at Ellis that she's now organized a summer camp to introduce local girls to careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Chelsea's week-long camp, called Girls Bridging Community, will serve lower-income girls, ages 8 to 10, and will take place at Ellis July 8-12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Girls Bridging Community camp will encourage girls to understand and pursue STEM careers and will utilize LEGO robotics to offer exciting, hands-on experience in engineering to all participants. Thanks to funding from The PA Girls STEM Collaborative Mini-Grant Program through a partnership with the Girls of Steel robotics team, the camp will be free for all qualified students and will include lunch and transportation. Girls may apply online here.  The deadline for applications is June 1, 2013.

"My hope is that each girl who participates will use the tools she learns as a foundation for the rest of her education. I also hope that this program will encourage girls in lower-income families to consider pursuing STEM careers," said Chelsea. Chelsea, who is a resident of Penn Hills, plans to pursue a career in surgery and attributes her interest in medicine to the mentorship and encouragement she received from other girls and women, especially her fellow students and teachers at Ellis.

Eighteen girls will be selected for the Girls Bridging Community summer program based on merit, intellectual curiosity, enthusiasm for the topics discussed, and teacher and parent recommendations. The camp will include:
  • Encouragement to think critically
  • An introduction to programming
  • Hands-on experience in engineering and designing
  • One-on-one time with women working now in STEM careers
The first half of each day will be dedicated to creating a functional robot. The second half of the day will focus on girls meeting women who are in STEM careers. After camp is over, mentors from Ellis and the Girls of Steel will stay in touch with the camp members every three months until next summer. By keeping in touch with students, the mentors will help students with school work and inspire them to continue with their intellectual success. Ellis juniors and seniors will work in the camp acting as mentors and teaching assistants.

"I have been impressed with Chelsea’s level of initiative to secure funding for this camp," said Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri, Director of Instructional and Informational Technologies. "She also helped develop the curriculum. She is eager to share her Ellis experiences with girls in the community. I have no doubt the camp will be a huge success with Chelsea as its leader."
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