June 16 – August 22, 2014
What is Eureka!?
Girls Inc. Eureka! is an intense, five-year program designed to help young women learn more about STEM concepts and career opportunities through a variety of hands-on activities. These STEM activities are supplemented with both personal development and sports activities, including swimming lessons, so that girls receive a well-rounded experience.
The ideal Eureka! program begins as girls are rising eighth graders. During their first summer of participation, Year 1 participants, referred to as Rookies, attend a four week summer camp on a college campus. Afterwards, they attend Eureka! meetings at least once a month during the school year. Girls then attend a second summer camp, now as Vets. Beyond the first two summers, Eureka! girls are expected to complete internships and a variety of college preparation and supporting programming during their high school years.
The fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are experiencing job growth, and in some STEM fields such as industrial engineering and healthcare, there are likely more jobs available than unemployed workers to fill them (Change the Equation, 2012a). Currently, women are underrepresented in STEM fields. Although women comprise about 48% of the workforce, they hold only 26% of STEM positions. The gender difference is even more apparent in certain STEM careers. For example, only 13% of engineers and 27% of computer workers are female (Landivar, 2013). Moreover, women are also less likely than men to choose STEM majors in college (Beede et al., 2011).
The shortage of female representation in STEM fields is not because women are incapable or lacking the ability to succeed. By some measures, girls’ achievement in science and math is equal to or better than boys’ achievement. For example, middle school girls pass algebra courses at slightly higher rates than boys, and girls are at least as numerous as boys in high school biology and chemistry classes (Office for Civil Rights and U.S. Department of Education, 2012). The more substantial gender difference seems to lie in girls’ interest and confidence in STEM. Compared to boys, girls report less interest and lower confidence in STEM subjects. This is especially evident during middle school years (Hill, Corbett, & St. Rose, 2010).
To combat this disparity, experts such as the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recommend participation in out-of-school time STEM programming (President’s Council, 2010). These programs fill gaps in students’ formal learning by exposing them to STEM activities in informal, hands-on settings. A review of various after school and summer programs found some evidence that students from underrepresented populations in STEM fields can experience an improved attitude towards STEM, increased STEM knowledge and skills, and a higher likelihood of high school graduation after attending high quality programming (After school Alliance, 2011). However, there are still gaps in our research related to quality of programming and student participation (Change the Equation, 2012b).
The Girls Inc. Research Department began an evaluation of Eureka! during the summer of 2012. These first summer Eureka! participants were surveyed before and after summer programming, and a report was created which documented their experiences. The current report expands on the 2012 evaluation by presenting results from a second set of first summer participants (Rookies), along with updated results from girls who completed their second summer of programming (Vets).
While Eureka! content varies from affiliate to affiliate, the expected outcomes, as identified in the Eureka! Logic Model (Appendix A), remain the same across the network. In the long term, we expect that participation in Eureka! will lead to high school graduation, enrolling in postsecondary education, and working in STEM professions. We also expect participation in Eureka! programming to lead to several short-term outcomes. Generally, we expect that Eureka! girls will:
- Display academic motivation and self-efficacy.
- Have self-confidence with respect to STEM.
- Be comfortable taking healthy risks.
- Make healthy choices about physical activity.
- Participate in leadership or volunteer activities.
- Aspire to a STEM career.
ReferencesAfterschool Alliance. (2011). STEM learning in afterschool: An analysis of impact and outcomes. Retrieved from http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/STEM-Afterschool- Outcomes.pdf. Beede, D., Julian, T., Langdon, D., McKittrick, G., Khan, B., & Doms, M. (2011). Women in STEM: A gender gap to innovation. U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, ESA Issue Brief #04-11. Retrieved from http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/reports/documents/womeninstemagaptoinnovat ion8311.pdf. Change the Equation. (2012a). STEM help wanted: Demand for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics weathers the storm. Retrieved from http://changetheequation.org/sites/default/files/CTEq_VitalSigns_Supply%20%282%29. pdf. Change the Equation. (2012b). The next frontier for data. Vital Signs, September 2012. Retrieved from http://changetheequation.org/sites/default/files/Next%20Frontier%20for%20Data%20FI NAL.pdf. Hill, C., Corbett, C., & St. Rose, A. (2010). Why so few? Women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. American Association of University Women. Retrieved from http://www.aauw.org/files/2010/03/Why-So-Few.pdf. Landivar, L. C. (2013). Disparities in STEM employment by sex, race, and Hispanic origin. U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, American Community Survey Reports #ACS-24. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acs-24.pdf. Office for Civil Rights and U.S. Department of Education. (2012). Gender equity in education: A data snapshot. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/gender- equity-in-education.pdf. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. (2010). Prepare and inspire: K-12 education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for America’s future. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast- stemed-report.pdf. Girls Inc. Research Department January 2014 January 2014
The program is for rising 8th graders.
Please contact Atiya Nathan at 757-465-3896
The program is only $50 per week during the summer and free during the school year!
June 16 - August 22, 2014
6 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Eureka! is an intensive 4 week program designed to last 5 consecutive summers and also to encourage girls to explore career path and post-secondary education opportunities in STEM fields. Participants in Eureka! will gain college exposure each day as they travel to Hampton University to partake in hands on science activities, swimming classes, and to meet students and faculty of the university. Eureka! campers will also participated in weekly field trips to further enhance their summer experience! Our goal is to provide a safe, structured, and exciting summer camp that breaks the barriers of the norm while promoting and revealing the many benefits of STEM. As with all Girls Inc. programs, Eureka! inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold and most importantly, to expand their sense of what is possible for their futures.
Download Eureka! Flyer Eureka 2
For more information about Eureka!, please contact a Brittney Harris or a Girls Inc representative at 757-465-3896 or via email at [email protected]
DownloadEureka registration form