Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, our Eureka! five-year STEM program has continued inspiring girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math! Through Zoom meetings, virtual programs, online college tours and remote internships, we are currently serving 49 high school-age girls in the Dallas area.
“We were a little worried when COVID hit. Girls often get important experiences while visiting college campuses and taking courses,” explained Paige Smith, our Director of Special Programs and Recruitment. “We wanted to make sure that, even though we’re doing this virtually, they were able to have those same experiences. We’ve been able to do that through virtual college tours and Girls Inc. programming.”
This summer, a rookie cohort of 12 incoming 7th graders joined Eureka. The program will continue to accept new applications from 8th graders during the school year to achieve a full cohort of 25-30 8th grade girls by June 2021.
Throughout the month of June, Girls Inc. Dallas held virtual college camps for rising 8th and 9th graders. Four colleges from the Dallas area participated, leading courses that tackled topics like DNA and RNA, coding computer programs and even composting with worms. Rising 10th graders participated in Bold Idea, a program through Fidelity. In this program, female tech professionals mentored and guided girls through tech-based projects.
Additionally, 12th graders held 4-week internships with Girls Inc. Dallas, assisting program facilitators during virtual summer camp sessions. Over the course of the internship, the girls mastered 21st century skills in leadership and technology, as they learned to run and host live virtual meetings. Also, we are excited to pair 12th grade students with female mentors in the field of STEM they plan to pursue.
Paige also noted that Girls Inc. will be honoring Eureka’s six graduating seniors later this summer.
“We’ll be celebrating them and their transition into college in July,” she said. “Whether it’s virtual or socially distant, we want to be a big part of that celebration.”