Are Girls-Only Camps the Answer?

“If you don’t feel a sense of belonging, if you don’t feel like you’re being supported, you’re more likely to leave.” -Maria Klawe of Harvey Mudd College

Source: Girls just want to code. The trick is making sure they don’t stop – CNET

Feelings on Girls-Only Camps

The story above was posted on CNET today. It caused me to rethink and write my thoughts about girls-only camps. As you know, Classroom Antics only offers a co-ed camp across Ohio. But should we be offering girl-only camps?

We find the gender ratio is fairly close to equal (about 60/40) in our 7-9-year-old age range of attendees. However, girls are not as prevalent when we get to 10-13-year-olds (about 85/15). This seems to be consistent across the nation with other Tech Camps, and everyone is trying to figure out why. Unfortunately, nobody really has a convincing answer yet. Offering girls-only camps seem like a good idea, but it takes girls out of co-ed camps. It has been our concern that by making girl-only camps we make our co-ed camps seem more boy-only. Also, it says for girls to be in STEM they need their own topics.

Should Boys and Girls Be Separate in STEM

In our opinion, separating boys and girls in STEM education perpetuates the problem of thinking it is only for boys. That said, we want to see more girls pursuing STEM programming. If having girls-only programs can do that for them, then maybe we should.

We would love to know if you would like to see girl-only camps at Classroom Antics? Or is there a better way to attract girls to computer sciences? Please send us your feedback via our Contact Us form.