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It's time to apply for girls' STEM program

It's time to apply for girls' STEM program

Applications are now being accepted for the second year of Independence Community College and Fab Lab ICC’s STEM program for middle school girls. The program is offered as part of Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, to introduce more girls, especially those in rural parts of the country, to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) also is a key partner in the initiative.

   The program includes a three-week intensive summer-camp experience for 100 girls from middle schools across southeast Kansas (those entering 6th, 7th and 8th grades in the fall). The camp is scheduled July 15-August 2, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the ICC campus. Participants will experience courses in augmented and virtual reality, coding, 3D design, entrepreneurship and design thinking principles and will utilize additional technology and equipment available at Fab Lab ICC. The camp will include field trips, guest speakers and a final project assignment incorporating the the problem-solving skills and technology the girls learn in the camp courses. Breakfast and lunch will be served at camp, and transportation will be available via several area bus stops in southeast Kansas. Girls meeting camp attendance criteria will receive a free Verizon tablet as a take-home gift, among other perks and camp souvenirs. With grant funding provided by the Verizon Foundation, the entire camp experience is free, but application is required at As part of the application process, prospective campers are asked to submit a short paragraph explaining why they would like to participate in camp.

   Following the summer camp, the students will be invited to participate in monthly workshops throughout the school year, where they will experience a variety of STEM learning activities.

   “The Verizon Innovative Learning program is a tremendous opportunity for us to engage and inspire our area youth,” said Jim Correll, director of Independence Community College’s Fab Lab ICC. “We look forward to providing our campers with exposure to innovation on many levels and piquing their interest in STEM-related entrepreneurial pursuits.”

   More information on the summer camp is available by contacting camp director Joanne Smith at, (620) 330-3006.

    More information on Verizon Innovative Learning is available at