Imagine walking into a busy classroom in the middle of the day. The natural reaction for students is to stop what they are doing and try to figure out who has disrupted their normal routine. Usually, the interruption serves as an excuse to stop focusing and get off task in some way. However, when I stopped in to visit the Science It’s a Girl Thing camp at Texas Tech University it was a different story altogether.
Room after room was filled with junior high aged girls exploring the science of polymers, building and programming robots, developing an understanding of forensic science, and much more. In every room we entered, my tour guide and I were met with complete disregard by the students. Why? Because the students were so entranced with their studying and hands on experience that nothing else mattered!
The Science It’s a Girl Thing camp is a weeklong college experience for girls across the region to gain exposure to science in terms of higher education and career opportunities. Women are drastically under-represented in fields of science. By exposing students to new possibilities, we can open the door for young girls in our community to gain access in those fields.
Since 2006, the JF Maddox Foundation has partnered with Texas Tech University and Hobbs Municipal Schools in order to provide scholarships for over 100 girls annually to attend the Science It’s a Girl Thing camp. We have also funded transportation in order to bus girls from Hobbs to Lubbock where the camp takes place. Our involvement helped remove barriers to this program, but it was the connections we built that have led to 13 years of developing young female scientists in our community, helping Lea County thrive for generations to come.