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“Are we going to have more STEM today?” This was the best question I was asked during this first week at Girls Inc.’s Eureka summer camp. A seventh grade girl asked me this as we were cleaning up the paper arcade games that the students had made during their morning STEM class and it made my week. She had so much fun doing the project that she wanted to know when we were going to do more! Sadly, I had to tell her that there would not be another STEM project until the following day, but it was so nice to see that the planning we had been doing for the past three weeks had been worth it.

This past week has been the most tiring but also the most rewarding week of my DukeEngage experience. We got to dive in and engage with the students that we had been prepping so long to meet and despite the various hiccups we encountered, we put on some very cool paper engineering projects. The girls seemed confident as they sketched their ideas out and often astounded us with their innovation and creativity. As the days went on and different groups came through my class, the games continued to improve and the girls seemed to bond. Unlikely pairings made incredible arcade games and even went above and beyond with their creations. One student had an idea for creating an artificial finger out of some string, cardboard, and a straw, something completely outside the box of what we were doing and something that I did not even think possible. I cannot wait to see what surprises the next three weeks have in store and I hope for many more excited faces that are sad to go.