CPWDC Supports Penn College’s SMART Girls Camp

The Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp. recently provided financial support to a Pennsylvania College of Technology initiative that helps connect teen girls with potential careers.

Penn College’s SMART (Science and Math Applications in Real World Technologies) Girls program is a four-day summer camp that provides an opportunity for girls in grades 9-11 to experience math and science as a foundation for careers in technology.

At Penn College’s SMART Girls summer camp, Amanda Kelly – of Holy Spirit High School, Absecon, New Jersey – shows the 3-D-printed project she and her teammates developed. The girls pitched their fictitious business (Sirens of Sound) and product, a non-electrical amplifier for smartphones, to camp mentors as part of a “Shark Tank”-like showcase.

CPWDC used a portion of the funding it received through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Business-Education Partnerships Program to support this year’s camp, held in late June. The $8,900 grant supported bus transportation for the campers to a local 3-D printing company, as well as camp staffing.

In addition to touring Sekisui SPI (formerly Kydex LLC), which makes thermoplastic sheets in Bloomsburg, the girls worked in teams to design, print and ultimately market 3-D printed creations. They formed “businesses,” complete with a business plan and resumes, and pitched their products at a “Shark Tank”-like event. In addition to the project-based learning, girls experienced daily themes in career, economic and workforce development.

The goal of the program is to expose students to career options in emerging technologies and encourage a strong foundation in high school math and sciences through hands-on experience.

CPWDC is the state-designated Workforce Development Board for the nine-county Central Pennsylvania Region. Its mission is to be the leading vehicle for regional unification, coordination, integration and alignment of workforce activities, resources and initiatives to support economic sustainability, improve education systems, and develop and retain a quality labor force in Central Pennsylvania.

To learn more about SMART Girls and other programs that support career education for students in kindergarten t0 12th grade, call 570-320-8003, email or visit the College Transitions Office.

For more information about grant-funding opportunities, faculty and staff may contact the Grants and Contracts Office at ext. 7580 or through its Web portal.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, visit www.pct.edu, email admissions@pct.edu or call toll-free 800-367-9222.