FOCUS Camp 2016 Breaks Records
With $20,000 in funding received from Battelle Corporation and $1000 from VA Bio, the F.O.C.U.S. camp grew to 100 girls and 22 counselors in 2016.
Founded in 2014, F.O.C.U.S. (Females of Color and those Underrepresented in STEM) is a week-long camp which exposes females to a variety of disciplines within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The camp specifically targets middle school females, an age where studies have shown an interest in STEM begins to significantly decline. The camp is presented in a fun, hands-on, intellectually stimulating format designed to elevate their interests again. The first four days are each centered around a different “letter” of STEM. On day five, the participants have an opportunity to collaborate with their groups and present one of the topics from the week in a poster session with invited faculty, students, and family. There is also a “Leadership and Entrepreneurship” component to F.O.C.U.S. which gives the students an opportunity to meet successful women who currently work for leading organizations and/or own their own businesses.
This year’s camp was organized by Kelly Knight of the George Mason University STEM Accelerator Program and Danielle Blunt, founder of GIRL, Inc. Without the support of sponsors and the amazing counselors and leaders involved, this camp would not have been possible. We have already received wonderful feedback from the parents and participants with some already asking how to sign-up for next year’s F.O.C.U.S. camp.