YGC: Gateway Academy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

YGC: Gateway Academy

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by Danielle Wagner

WAVERLY (KWWL) -- The subjects of engineering, math and science don't intimidate girls attending the Gateway Academy of Technology Camp in Waverly.

"It's a problem solving camp so they're working on activities the whole time so it's real hands on. A lot of the girls enjoy that," said teacher Bryan Benham.

The theme for the camp was "green" design. In one activity the girls made jewelry out of previously used items like pop tabs and magazines.

"My dad's an engineer, and I want to be an engineer when I grow up so I thought this would be a good experience making and designing products," said ninth grader Julie Kirkpatrick.

The camp in Waverly was for girls in seventh, eighth and ninth grade. Teacher Bryan Benham said the camp was a way for girls interested in the sciences to get more exposure to the subjects typically dominated by men. He said currently only 10 percent of engineers are female.

"As far as GPA or capability, females are usually higher in GPA in engineering schools than the males are, so they're capable and they can handle it. I just think they need to see it and experience it and know something they can do," said Benham.

"I really enjoy it and if you like science and math I think you'll like this too," said eighth grader Kayla Shepherd.

"We don't need to make everybody an engineer. It's more about seeing this might be something I want to do, and if I didn't come to camp this summer I would never have known that," said Benham.

Besides jewelry, the girls made solar power cars and a small scale wind generator.

The girls said this camp is a good way to decide if they'd like to pursue jobs in the engineering, science or math fields.

"If you understand it and you like it, you should go for it no matter what it is," said Kirkpatrick.

Thanks to sponsorships from GMT Corporation and Schumacher Elevator, the camp was free to all 15 girls.

Waterloo Schools is holding a similar technology camp in August.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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