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Girl Powered 2.0 Gets Girls Interested in Male-Dominated STEM Careers

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Danville, VA-- It's all about girl power for a summer camp in Danville this week. Danville Community College is hosting a camp called Girl Powered 2.0.

It's full of STEM related activities, that's science, technology, engineering and math. The basis of the camp is to spark an interest in careers that are underrepresented by women. Another major goal is to let the girls know that those career opportunities are right here in Danville.

School is out, but learning never stops at Girl Powered 2.0.

"I get along pretty well with girls,"said Rachel Martin, an attendee. "If it was a whole bunch of boys I would have been freaked out kind of."

It's a good thing boys were not allowed. The week-long camp is all about getting these middle school girls interested in male-dominated STEM fields.

The camp coordinator said there's a long list of them.

"Chemists, physicists, civil engineers, sanitation engineers...,"said Kirstin Pantazis, the camp coordinator.

The first day of camp, the girls delved into water quality. In the classroom they were like civil engineers.

"They made maps and said, 'Ok if I put my house here and it rains, where's the chemicals run off going to end up',"Pantazis said.

Then outside the classroom, they took on the role of environmentalists.

"We're learning how to test the water for different chemicals," said Nylan Yancey, an attendee."

"It's important to know if things are clean or not to help people who are sick and to prevent sickness from spreading," said Carmen Lugo,another attendee."

The first day already has one camper eager for more.

"I'm looking forward to learning stuff I don't know about STEM because I really like science and I want to know more about it," Martin said.

"The girls in this area don't realize the opportunities they have close to home," Pantazis said. "We want them to know it may be tough but we can help you get there if that's what you want to do."

The girls have a lot more in store for them this week. They have a Skype session with a STEM professional in England, activities with the Dan River Basin Association and a trip to the Danville Science Center.

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