The popular and long-running UC Santa Cruz Girls in Engineering (GIE) program returned this summer after a two-year pandemic hiatus. The five-day, in-person camp—held this year in three sessions over the weeks of July 11, July 18, and July 25 and hosted by the Baskin School of Engineering in collaboration with UCSC’s Educational Partnership Center—is designed to spark interest in the fields of engineering and technology among middle school girls.
For many participants, this camp is their first exposure to engineering. The program introduces students to engineering and technology through a series of fun, hands-on activities in a supportive learning environment, encouraging more girls and women to pursue STEM education and careers.
Students spend the week as computer scientists and engineers, building robots, designing and coding computer games, and creating interactive art pieces. They also get the opportunity to explore campus, which includes touring Baskin Engineering research labs, meeting successful women involved in STEM research and industry, and learning about the different science and engineering programs available at UCSC. All activities are designed to inspire the next generation of women engineers and build a diverse and inclusive STEM community.
“Girls in Engineering is literally why I became a software engineer,” said 2015 GIE alumna Iris Manriquez, who graduated from CSUMB with a degree in computer science and now works as a software engineer at Twitch. “Being introduced to technology by this program sparked my interest in it.”
With funding support through the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation and the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation, GIE is free of cost for all 24 participants in each session. Students are selected based on the following criteria: academic achievement in mathematics, a teacher recommendation, and interest and motivation to learn about computer science and engineering as demonstrated in the student’s Statement of Interest in their application.
In order to expand the program and serve more local students, UC Santa Cruz is actively seeking funding. Make a gift to support future women engineers and technologists.
Baskin Engineering is dedicated to furthering diversity and inclusion initiatives and programs that promote academic excellence for historically underrepresented students in STEM. To learn more about Baskin Engineering’s inclusive excellence programming, please visit ieh.soe.ucsc.edu.