GIRLS INC. EUREKA! PROGRAM COMPLETES FIRST SESSION WITH SHOWCASE
Pittsfield, MA - On Friday, August 3, 2018, the first cohort of girls participating in the newly launched Girls Inc. Eureka! program will showcase projects they’ve developed over the past four weeks of the program. Eureka! launched this year by Girls Inc. of the Berkshires is a STEM-based approach to engaging and empowering girls to explore STEM-related subjects and potential careers.
Girls Inc. of the Berkshires announced the launch of the new program in November 2017. “The Eureka! program gives Girls Inc. another avenue to expand the outlook of area girls,” Kelly Marion, CEO of the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center shared, “This program will give girls exposure to STEM-related activities and careers to spark their curiosity, support their education and show them opportunities for their future.”
The first cohort of area girls, who will be entering 8th grade this Fall, began the program in early July with a four-week camp session on the campus of Berkshire Community College working with professors and instructors studying STEM-subjects including physics and biology. The multi-year program, developed by the National Girls Inc. organization, will continue throughout the school year featuring field trips to area STEM-related businesses and deeper exploration in STEM-subjects. A second intensive four-week camp session will take place next summer, followed by stipended internships in subsequent summers through high school.
“Over the past four weeks, the girls have had the chance to learn about physics and biology, explore nature as a scientist and learn how to use a microscope,” said Sidney Hamilton, Girls Inc. Eureka! Program Coordinator. “It’s been exciting to see the girl’s enthusiasm about what they’ve been learning and their future,” she added.
The Girls Inc. Eureka! program helps girls see themselves as an important part of the workforce of the future by exploring STEM-subjects and potential careers. Throughout the Eureka! program, girls participate in a variety of exciting and compelling activities exploring STEM-related subjects through hands-on experiences in a college campus environment encouraging further exploration of those subjects with an eye toward educational opportunities and their place in the workforce of the future.
The girls will have the opportunity to share things they’ve learned with family, friends and community partners as they present posters and activities in the Showcase on Friday.
Lead funders for the launch of the Girls Inc. of the Berkshires Eureka! program are Berkshire Gas Company/ Avangrid Foundation and Cranwell Resort & Spa through the Hyatt Thrives Community Grants program. Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts are key collaborators to the program.
Working together The Avangrid Foundation and Berkshire Gas are committed to supporting individuals and communities that they serve. By providing leadership support for the local Eureka! Program, doors can be opened for underserved young women creating pathways for them to ultimately assume leadership roles in a wide variety of STEM fields. Supporting opportunities to learn about all that is possible and available to motivated young women is vitally important to Avangrid, The Avangrid Foundation and to Berkshire Gas.
Commenting on the success of the first year of the Eureka! Program, Avangrid Foundation Director Nicole Licata Grant noted, “Great programs with proven outcomes deserve great support and we are thrilled to be the lead funder of the Berkshire based Eureka! Program in association with Girls Inc.” Grant continued, “We are impressed with the success of this inaugural effort and we treasure this opportunity to excite young women about their future and their ability to bring a fresh perspective and thinking to emerging opportunities related to S.T.E.M. We look forward to continuing our association with this program”.
Deanna Mangiardi, representing Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort of Miraval Resorts remarked, “We welcome the opportunity to partner with Girls Inc.; the thought of exposing girls to unexpected STEM-careers found in an organization like ours is exciting. We’re looking forward to visits from the girls involved in Eureka! so they can explore how people use their science, math and technology backgrounds behind the scenes at Cranwell.”
The Brigham Center, home of Girls Inc. of the Berkshires, serves children and youth throughout the Berkshires providing early childhood education, school age enrichment programs, gender specific programming as an affiliate of the national Girls Inc. organization, youth empowerment services, aquatics programs and summer camp at Camps Stevenson-Witawentin. Learn more at www.brighamcenter.org.