In the third year of offering activities aimed at expanding knowledge in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, FCA and Ivy Tech Community College are planning STEM summer camps for area students in a new format for 2020.
Because of the ongoing challenges posed by the coronavirus, the co-sponsors are offering STEM Camp-in-a-Box to young women entering grades 6 to 12 and boys entering grades 6 to 8.
“In light of recent efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Ivy Tech and FCA won’t be able to offer in-person summer STEM camps this year,” said Tanya Foutch, Quality Engineering Group Lead for Assembly at FCA US and a member of the FCA US Transmission & Casting Women’s Group that created the first Gearing Up Girls for STEM summer camp in 2018. “Instead, camp will be made available to students in their homes. We are working to make camp boxes that will be as close as possible to the real camp!”
The FCA Women’s Group and Ivy Tech are putting together the “camp-in-a-box” for up to 125 young women and 100 boys. The boxes, which will include activities, supplies, a workbook, links to tutorials and supplemental videos, and more, will be delivered to students’ homes in mid-June.
Girls in grades 6 to 12 and boys in grades 6 to 8 in Howard, Tipton, Miami, Grant, Clinton, Carroll, and Cass counties may register for the camp on a first come/first served basis. The cost is $20 per student. Interested families should contact Susan Turrill at Ivy Tech by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 765-252-5497.
Gearing Up Girls for STEM began as a program for girls going into the sixth to eighth grades but has expanded to include young women in high school. It also inspired creation of a STEM camp for boys going into grades 6 to 8.
“Our camps have been very successful, helping meet our goal of introducing girls to the possibility of STEM careers,” Foutch said. “We are sorry we aren’t able to be together this summer and we look forward to being able to resume the face-to-face camps next year.”
The Transmission & Casting Women’s Group is made up of FCA US employees at all levels and specialties including executives, engineers, managers, and human resources representatives, all of whom are committed to expanding opportunities for women in the manufacturing industry. Representatives of the UAW Women’s Group are also supporting the project. The boys’ camp is organized by a group of FCA US employees at all levels including executives, engineers, managers who are committed to expanding young men’s exposure to STEM and the manufacturing industry.
“With interesting, entertaining, hands-on activities, we hope to encourage interest in STEM at an early age,” Foutch continued. This effort comes at a time when the issue of workforce development continues to be at the forefront of economic development discussions in Indiana.
Foutch said the program is expanding this year with the support of the City of Kokomo, First Farmers Bank and Trust and Community First Bank. Other supporters of the program have included FCA, UAW Local 1302, UAW Local 685 Retirees, UAW 685 Women’s Group, Ironmonger Spring, Mahar Tool Supply, Button Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Ascension St. Vincent Kokomo, Haynes International, Caron & Jones Dental Care, Harvey Performance, Indiana Pit Martial Arts and Fitness, Security Federal Savings Bank, and Solidarity Federal Credit Union.