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‘SMART Girls’ Event Offers Opportunities to Apply Math, Science

On the heels of a packed SMART Girls (Science and Math Applications in Real-World Technologies for Girls) session for seventh- and eighth-graders at Pennsylvania College of Technology in April, girls entering ninth and 10th grades may register for a three-night, three-day July SMART Girls event.

The planned activities include a field trip to laboratories at The Pennsylvania State University, as well as hands-on workshops at Penn College that help students explore careers that involve science, mathematics and technology.

SMART Girls is an initiative devised by a group of Penn College faculty women and supported by the college to counter an alarming academic and societal pattern that shows women are less likely to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology.

Trends also show that a high percentage of girls stop taking higher-level math and science courses in their early teens, which leaves them at a disadvantage in pursuing some of those careers. One of the goals for SMART Girls is to encourage an interest in those subject areas by showing their real-world applications.

Workshop activities for the event, scheduled for July 9-12, include the chemistry behind creating good-tasting food recipes, human breathing, plastic materials and forensic evidence; the biology of microscopic creatures and macroinvertebrates that live in streams and ponds; the technology of digital photos, cryptography, biometrics and movie editing; and the physics behind bridge construction. The students will also explore the electricity running through vehicles, the internal components of a computer, popular animation software, and the varied activities of paramedic, occupational therapy, radiography, and computer-aided product design fields.

Enrollment for the summer SMART Girls session is limited to the first 50 applicants. Each student is charged a $60 materials fee. Participants are housed in Penn College residence halls, and all meals are provided.

Registration deadline for the July camp is June 30. For more information and an application, visit online, send e-mail or call (570) 327-4502.

SMART Girls is funded in part by the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act of 1998; by New Choices/New Options Career Development Services under the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Vocational-Technical Education; and by Penn College.

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