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STEM Center of Excellence: State-of-the-art STEM center at Camp Whispering Cedars in South Dallas

Special to The Dallas Examiner | 5/21/2018, 4:06 p.m.
Research shows that girls are keenly interested in STEM and excel at it. Yet, for a variety of reasons, girls ...
From left: Girl scouts participate in the Nature Trail, Girl scouts participate in Chemistry Programming, a girl scout observes science through a microscope at the STEM Center of Excellence. From left: Girl scouts participate in the Nature Trail, Girl scouts participate in Chemistry Programming, a girl scout observes science through a micr

Special to The Dallas Examiner

Research shows that girls are keenly interested in STEM and excel at it. Yet, for a variety of reasons, girls often don’t pursue STEM – starting as early as elementary school. The proof is in the numbers, and when they graduate from school, the numbers are even more telling. But we can change that! Let your girl see that STEM can help her make the world a better place.

By age 6, girls are less likely than boys to believe their gender is “really smart.” This may explain why male students are about 8 times more likely than females to plan to pursue a career in STEM. Which may explain why less than 25 percent of STEM workers are female in the current workforce – even though women with STEM jobs earned 35 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs. Among those workers, women make up only 1 in 3 chemists, only 1 in 3 environmental engineers and less than 8 percent of mechanical engineers, according to U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration.

In an effort to fill the 715,000 vacancies in STEM fields in America’s workforce, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas has created a first of its kind state-of-the-art, 92-acre campus designed to provide girls year-round opportunities for STEM development.

Just south of Downtown Dallas, the STEM Center of Excellence is located at Camp Whispering Cedars – a 90-acre living laboratory in South Dallas that offers year-round opportunities in robotics, computer coding, botany, chemistry and more. Backed by $14 million in funding from individuals, foundations and corporations, the 80-year-old camp has undergone extensive renovations and new construction. It will offer a unique blend of activities combining critical science, technology, engineering and math skills with the social and emotional learning techniques research shows are vital to encouraging girls to pursue STEM higher education and careers.