At Rosie the Riveter summer camps, girls learn they really can ‘Do it’

Written by: Lisa Stelzner

Primary Source: Daily Dose of Science Blog

There have been a lot of good online articles on women and girls and their involvement with STEM recently.  I love this idea for a summer camp for girls that teaches them STEM skills, survival skills, self-defense, and even trade skills like welding, auto repair, and carpentry!  Girls learn that not only men can do manual labor, and how to raise their self-esteem about body image and help them respect and not bully others.

The article points out that girls have learned to be really competitive with each other while they are trying to make their way in a male-dominated world, but this often does not help them in life.  “Camps like Rosie’s Girls are truly refreshing in an age when the idea of women’s spaces get constantly challenged by people who don’t understand just how prevalent misogyny and patriarchy still are in our society. And by reaching young girls at such a critical stage in their development, they can navigate through life with that much more courage and strength — just like their feminist predecessors.”

The specific camp mentioned in the article is only in California, Ohio, Rhode Island, New York, and Vermont, but it sounds like it is led by an organization that has a whole lot more than just summer camps to help girls and women with nontraditional careers.

I really do believe that this girls in STEM movement is gaining momentum across the country.  I recently saw in my neighborhood newsletter that a Lansing, Michigan organization is putting on summer camps for girls with programming, design, and engineering activities taught by female instructors.  They are not prohibitively expensive for families with low incomes, either, in order to make the opportunity accessible to all girls (only $25).

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Lisa Stelzner
I'm a plant biology PhD student studying monarch butterflies in Michigan, but I'm interested in lots of other types of science, too. I am interested in how breeding monarch butterflies choose their habitat based on floral species richness and abundance. Few studies have been conducted on optimal foraging theory when it involves an organism searching for two different kinds of resources, and butterflies are an ideal study system to investigate this, since many species are ovipositing specialists and only lay eggs on one species of hostplant, but are feeding generalists and nectar from a broad variety of flowering forbs.