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Purchase College Hosts STEM Camp For Middle School Girls

This was the first year the camp took place at Purchase College.
This was the first year the camp took place at Purchase College. Photo Credit: Contributed

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Purchase College, SUNY welcomed 18 seventh and eighth grade girls from the greater Westchester area for SMARTech, a two-week-long STEM camp.

The program, which ran July 27 through Aug. 7, was organized through a new partnership with Girls Inc. of Westchester County, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young girls through comprehensive educational programs and resources. SMARTech camp introduced middle school girls of all backgrounds to the exciting possibilities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The participants were provided with hands-on experience in coding, technology, and environmental science in a comfortable all-girl environment. Juliana Thompson, an eighth-grader who took part in the camp, said, “Before this I thought science was nerdy, in a way. I thought: I can’t do this. I’m not smart enough. But it showed me that anyone can do it and it’s really fun if you put your mind to it.”

As part of the curriculum, the students spent time in the college’s state-of-the-art labs and met with women working in the STEM fields from such organizations as IBM, PepsiCo, and ConEdison. Lucy Chan, Vice President, Growth Markets And Global Services Business Development at IBM, spoke at the girls’ final showcase, encouraging the campers to work hard and “live beyond their dreams.”

Purchase chemistry professor Joseph Skrivanek, who helped organize the camp, said, “We hope the students’ experiences on campus will lead to a lifetime of learning and personal fulfillment.” Nicole Lesser, executive director of Girls Inc. Westchester, said, “Purchase College welcomed us with open arms and Girls Inc. Westchester was thrilled to be able to give the girls exposure to a state –of- the- art college campus and leaders in STEM fields.” The two organizations announced that they would like to continue the partnership next year and offer the camp again.

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