Maker Mom readers tend to know the facts about women’s under-represtation in STEM careers. It’s an issue an many levels, but part of the issue is the so-called STEM pipeline. We need to get and keep girls interested in STEM now so that there will be a supply of highly qualified women who are poised to take advantage of lucrative career and STEM leadership opportunities later. This is especially true in areas like technology and physics. For some girls, a girls-only camp is a fantastic way to foster their love of and involvement in STEM.
In fact, based on my vantage point as the mom of boys, I’ve noticed that most of the enrichment classes and competitions they participated in tended to skew heavy on the boys. And often, despite the intelligence, skills, or interest of girls present, the female voices tended to get drown out. Some girls thrive co-ed environment despite the challenges, but other girls benefit from an all-girls STEM group.
Going co-ed or single sex is a personal choice–and it’s one that you and your daughter might not see eye-to-eye on. But if you’re learning toward a STEM camp for girls, I got your back, especially if you live in Chicago.
STEM Camps for Girls in the Chicago Area
This year’s Guide to Chicago STEM Camps for Girls is brought to you by Alexa Café. Alexa Café provides opportunities for girls ages 10-15 to discover technology in a unique environment that celebrates creativity, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship. Girls learn engineering principles, code games, design websites, model and print 3D objects, and more. Locally, Alexa Cafe will be offered at Lake Forest College, but Alexa Cafe camps are also held on prestigious campuses nationwide, including Bryn Mawr, Sarah Lawrence, and more.
2016 Guide to Chicago STEM Camps for Girls
Adler Planetarium Two week-long full-day technology camps will be offered just for girls in 4th and 5th grade and one additional girls-only camp will be held for 6th and 7th grade girls. Chicago (Museum Campus)
Alexa Café (sponsor) This summer, encourage the awesome in your daughter. At Alexa Café, girls ages 10-15 discover technology in a unique environment that celebrates creativity, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship. Girls learn engineering principles, code games, design websites, model and print 3D objects, and more. These week-long summer programs are held at prestigious campuses nationwide, including Lake Forest, Bryn Mawr, Sarah Lawrence, and more.
College of Lake County (CLC) TBA
Dominican University TBA
GreenApple Campus Girls Tech courses in coding, robotics, making, and entrepreneurship are available on a limited basis. See their site for age range and location. Chicagoland. Chicago (1871/Merchandise Mart, GEMS World Academy, CIE at University of Chicago, Irving Park) Naperville and in Massachusetts
Northern Illinois University STEM Summer Camps
The four-day STEM Divas program for girls in grades 2-5 will only be offered once. The program seeks to develop confidence and “who embrace femininity while using hands-on activities to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).” Projects include woodworking with hand tools and soldering an electronics project.
Oak Park Educational Foundation Grrl Squad for 6-8th grade girls includes STEM topics like inventing, but also general topics of interest to girls that age.
Triton College Summer camps for tweens and teens GADgET Girls introduces girls to the world of manufacturing with field trips, CAD skills and hands-on projects.
If none of these camps meets your needs, check out the co-ed camps in our Chicago STEM Camp Guide.