Camps give local girls a head start on engineering careers


In the 1970s, teenage girls toted around tubes of Lip Smackers. Today, at The University of Akron, they’re making their own lip balm as part of two weeklong engineering camps.

Activities like these give girls insight on prospective future engineering careers, says Heidi Cressman, director of UA’s Women in Engineering program. Cressman says that in line with the UA College of Engineering’s steady, continued growth, its number of female engineering students has grown from 232 in 2007 to 429 in fall 2013.

Through June 27, campers will engage in engineering activities ranging from building an aquifer to making stents to creating a robotics circuit that senses light.

This week’s camp, Summer Experience in Engineering, or SEE UA, treats high school students to hands-on engineering activities, tours of local engineering firms and time with UA women engineering students.

Next week, girls in grades seven and eight will participate in activities like injecting stem cells into gelatin hearts and developing lip balm during their Multiplying Your Options, or MYO, camp.

"We want students to walk away knowing that the possibilities are endless for women who choose careers in these fields," Cressman says.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or

Aquifer experiment

From left, 12th graders Morgan Silvey, Ohio Virtual Academy; Erickah Jackson, Berea Midpark High School; and Deborah Falokun, Shaker Heights High School, build aquifers at the Summer Experience in Engineering.