September 26, 2021
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Girls explore STEM possibilities at Tinker Academy

  • Incoming 8th grader May Khin of LJMS

August 9, 2019

On Aug. 1, twenty-four middle school girls from throughout Sonoma County showcased their projects created while taking part in the Girls Tinker Academy, a two-week STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) summer program hosted by the School of Science and Technology at Sonoma State University. The camp encourages girls to “dream, make and innovate” with SSU's state of the art technology and equipment available. Activities included computer coding, 3-D modeling, crafting, sewing and robotics.

The Girls Tinker Academy is designed to engage and inspire middle school students in Maker activities that encourage the exploration and development of technical, mathematical and design abilities. Each day offered a combination of guided Maker activities and time for students to “tinker” on self-designed projects that foster creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Class time included presentations designed to educate, inspire and motivate girls to pursue their interests in STEM education and careers.

The academy is a partnership between the School of Science and Technology at SSU and Community WISE (Women Investing in STEM), a project of the Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation Sonoma County. This is the second year this program has been offered. 

The Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation is a 501 (3) non-profit organization that works to expand and enhance career technical training and work readiness for Sonoma County students, aligning education with the workforce and economic development needs of the county in a manner that creates an enriched learning experience for students. Since its founding in 2012, DTE Foundation has invested over $2 million in local schools and career exploration opportunities for Sonoma County students.

Community WISE (Women investing in STEM equity) Community WISE is a coalition of local employers, education institutions, students and community leaders who work to identify and invest in engaging opportunities to inspire and prepare more girls to pursue Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) majors and careers. Founded in 2016, Community WISE believes that the STEM workforce issues can only be solved by diverse partners collaborating to create disruptive solutions that promote equity for all girls and underrepresented racial minorities. 

Dr. Natalie Hobson of SSU Department of Mathematics and Statistics and Dr. Anamary Leal from the Computer Science Department conducted the Tinker Camp.