PEORIA. Ill. - Have you wondered what it would be like to work in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) field in the Greater Peoria area? Women leaders in Central Illinois' manufacturing, technology, and education sectors are working together to coordinate the annual 4G (Girl + Games + Gadgets = Genius) STEM Camp to be held at Bradley University. 4G STEM Camp is a weeklong day camp for girls entering 6th, 7th, and 8th grades and is aimed at overcoming barriers for girls getting involved with STEM. Partners include University of Illinois Extension Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit and Bradley University Center for STEM Education.
The camp is designed around site visits to Central Illinois businesses, including Methodist College, The Nature Conservancy, University of Illinois Springfield Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon and local trade groups, where 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 hands-on 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.
Additionally, the 4G Teacher Track will allow local educators to attend 4G STEM Camp as learners and observers of how to work with community partners to enhance STEM career exploration in their classrooms.
The best opportunity to quickly grow the STEM workforce is to increase the percentage of women and girls entering the STEM education pipeline. Studies show the middle school years are particularly important in the formation of career goals. Experiences and memories forged in middle school have the potential to motivate and structure the high school and college years ahead. A middle schooler with a strong sense of commitment and direction has the opportunity to take the classes and earn the grades to enter college in the STEM major of their choice.
4G STEM Camp will take place on June 26-30, from 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. at Bradley University. The cost will be $175 per participant, but fee waivers are available. Registration will be open from March 1 – May 31 to young women entering grades 6, 7 and 8 and can be found at go.illinois.edu/4GSTEMcamp. Teachers interested in participating in the 4G Teacher Track can find more information and register at go.illinois.edu/4Gteachers until May 5.
For more information about 4-H, in addition to other youth and adult programs offered through University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit, visit our website at extension.illinois.edu/fmpt.
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.
Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.