This was the last week of Eureka! camp and it was a whirlwind. The finale of the summer camp has still not settled in as a reality for me yet, but I have had some time to reflect on my experience as a facilitator for an all girls’ STEM camp. All in all, I loved my time working for Girls Inc. I had applied believing that my favorite part of this summer would be teaching girls more about STEM topics and not only did this prove to be true, but I also enjoyed much more to this experience as well.
Firstly, teaching these campers in STEM was more rewarding than I could have ever expected. Being a part of this camp reminded me of how difficult it is to gain the confidence to attempt solving math problems and try understanding difficult scientific concepts. When I was younger, if discouragement wasn’t explicit then it was implicit and I remember having a fear of studying science because if I didn’t understand a problem or know how to solve it, I would believe that I couldn’t do science or math at all. Teaching STEM to these girls however, allowed me to emphasize and encourage these campers to sit through and learn to struggle with the concepts that they were taught. We allowed them to explore and we created an environment where it was okay to make mistakes while on the pursuit of understanding. This was something that I wish I had while I was that age.
Secondly, there were many other aspects of camp that I found to be just as rewarding. Establishing the connections that I did with the campers really touched my heart and made me realize that all the work I’ve done this summer has been worth it and was for a greater cause. Hopefully I’ve empowered these girls the way they have for me.