4G STEM Camp introduces girls to STEM careers

PEORIA, Ill. - For five years, 4G STEM Camp has helped young women overcome barriers by introducing girls to careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). This year, the tradition will continue with a new hybrid delivery model! 4G (Girls + Games + Gadgets = Genius) STEM camp will include five sessions of hands-on activities, experiments, and fun while local professionals offer information about their career pathways into STEM-related fields.

The program will kick off with an in-person session at the Peoria Riverfront on June 14 at 1 to 4 p.m., with appropriate safety precautions in place. Here, participants will learn about space-making on the riverfront and receive activity kits with all materials needed for the rest of the camp sessions. Virtual sessions will follow on June 16, 21, 23, and 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. Topics of these sessions will include engineering, anatomy, agriculture, art, and more!

4G STEM Camp is open to young ladies entering sixth, seventh, or eighth grades. The cost for participants is $50, and fee waivers are available. Visit go.illinois.edu/4GSTEMcamp to register or learn more.

The camp is typically designed around site visits to Peoria area businesses and this year those visits will be virtual!  Learn about personal protective equipment (PPE) from Society of Women Engineers while building a birdhouse and learning about careers at Caterpillar, explore labs at Illinois State University while learning about Pennycress and cover crops research, explore biology careers with Bradley faculty in doing lab activities, as well as dissection, and explore JUMP Simulation and the Peoria Riverfront through landscape architecture and sculpture walk activities.

Successful women working in STEM careers will provide an orientation to their work, including the skills, technologies, and strategies used to excel in their jobs. Girls will also engage in activities that demonstrate what it would be like to be in these STEM career fields, as well as learn the skills that will be essential to their future employment. Camp experiences ignite a spark of possibility within the girls and help open their minds to creative and fulfilling careers in central Illinois.

4G STEM Camp partners include University of Illinois Extension Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit, Bradley University Center for STEM Education, and Caterpillar.

For more information about 4-H, in addition to other youth and adult programs offered through Extension, visit their website at extension.illinois.edu/fmpt.

About University of Illinois Extension: University of Illinois Extension is the flagship outreach effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offering educational programs to residents of all of Illinois' 102 counties — and far beyond. Extension provides practical education you can trust to help people, businesses, and communities solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future. U of I Extension offers educational programs in five broad areas: energy and environmental stewardship, food safety and security, economic development and workforce preparedness, family health, financial security, and wellness, and youth development.

About 4-H: Illinois 4-H strives to help youth learn skills for living. University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois. Illinois 4-H aims to impact the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs and groups and short-term programming.

Contact: Judy Schmidt, 4-H Metro Youth Development Educator, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit, schmid7@illinois.edu, 217.300.9470