Eureka! is a six-week full-day summer program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, math, and personal development. Our middle school girls participated in classes where they learned about STEM subjects through hands-on activities and group projects. In one experiment, for example, girls extracted DNA from strawberries while learning about DNA and food science.
Other summer offerings for middle schoolers and teens included Beach Sisters, which focuses on marine biology; Engineering Design; Technology; Patterns and Problem Solving; and Sister 2 Sister, which promotes healthy sexuality and personal development. Special thanks to PWC for its support and wonderful donation of 3D printers, VR goggles, and drones. These items introduced the girls to a broad array of cutting-edge fields in science. (Here, a Girls Inc. member takes a virtual space walk via VR goggles.)
Of course, with COVID-19 protocols presenting almost-daily shifts in program formats, our Girls Inc. staff accommodated to ensure an interesting, safe and fun summer for all.
Despite so many changes to our usual summer lineups, our girls were excited to be together again. “They are honestly just really happy to be here and be with other people,” said Allee DeFronzo, supervisor of STEM programming at Girls Inc. of Lynn. “We have a pretty interesting set-up where some classes have a person in the room teaching; others are watching a Zoom. So, we have big TVs in all the rooms to put the Zoom calls on. It’s been a lot of adjusting, but the girls are doing really well with it.”
The girls’ excitement and happiness made everything worthwhile.
“I think, for staff at least, there was some hesitancy about being in-person and what that would look like,” said Bridget Brewer, Girls Inc.’s supervisor of teen pregnancy prevention programs. “But I think just seeing how happy the girls were to be back in-person melted all of that stress and worry away for us.”
Thank you to our indefatigable staff and our volunteers who worked to adapt our programming and support us through these challenging times. Our gratitude also to the Lynn community and to our donors, whose generosity made this summer so successful. We are looking forward to bright autumn days and a robust roster of programs designed to inspire our girls to be strong, smart, and bold!