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Girls Summer Camp Gives District Five Students a First Look Into Potential Careers

CHAPIN – About 45 rising eighth and ninth grade girls in District Five got a glance into what a future job may be like at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies’ second annual “District Five GEMS camp.”

The GEMS (Girls in Energy, Media and Space) were a select group of students who were recommended by their middle schools because of their interest in these three career fields. The camp was made possible through a $15,000 grant from Verizon.

“This is a critical time for these girls and their career exploration,” GEMS camp director Becky Carter said. “We want to show them some of the programs we offer here at The Center. This is an important time where we hope they will narrow their career focus.”

The camp, which ran from June 12-15, offered different sessions in energy, media and space. A few of them included building stomp rockets, creating short films and learning how a hovercraft works.

Dutch Fork Middle School rising eighth grader Rylee MacIssac hopes to pursue a career in acting one day and says having the opportunity to create a mini-movie was her favorite part of the camp.

“I am so glad that I had this chance to attend the GEMS camp because it really opened my eyes to what I would like to be when I grow up,” MacIssac said. “Instead of watching how things work, it was really neat to be able to create projects on our own to see whether or not it is really something I am interested in.”

Campers also had the chance to hear from professional females in the industries of energy, media and space each day. Carter says more than anything, this part of the camp was most important to the students because it proves there are opportunities for females in certain male-driven fields.

“For them to hear from these professionals and to see that nothing comes easy, but it is possible, is a great way to show them that they can have a future in these industries,” Carter said. “The more they can hear from others about how they progressed on their career pathway, the more confidence they will build as they get older and prepare to find their own careers.”

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