Tuition-Free Summer Technology Camps Help Draw Middle Schoolers to STEM

Camp Dates: June 10-28, 2019

The College of Technology at the University of Houston has secured funding from the Texas Workforce Commission to help make a difference in the lives of middle school girls. In partnership with the Houston Independent School District and charter schools in the Houston Third-Ward area, this grant will provide three week-long academic DesignHER Code Camps for girls in sixth through eighth grades, especially youth in foster care, students with disabilities, students from low-income families, and minority student

Camp activities will help create interest in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Workforce readiness and career preparation will be encouraged by exposing the students to careers that require STEM skills, yet are within areas of interest during the middle school years.

Three consecutive weeks of camp for students entering grades 6-8 will run, June 10 – 28, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the University of Houston, Isabel C. Cameron Building. Each week will target a different age group. The first week (June 10-14) will include students entering the sixth grade; the second week (June 17-21) is for those entering the seventh grade; and, the third week (June 24-28) is for eighth graders.

A team in the UH College of Technology Human Development and Consumer Sciences Department is the driving force behind the DesignHER Code Camp - Dr. Carol Goodson, Susan Miertschin, Dr. Marcella Norwood, Sue Schroeder, and Dr. Barbara Stewart. Their fun-filled curriculum will engage students in hands-on experiences that provide challenging and innovative concepts in learning, problem-solving, and analytical skills, while fostering an interest in computer coding/programming. Girls will work side-by-side with female role models who are industry leaders.

Among the vast array of areas requiring STEM skills, retail fashion careers that require coding and programming skills, will have the spotlight. “Our intention is to guide girls by showcasing coding and programming applications related to fields in which they currently have interests, but may not consider as related to technology,” said Dr. Barbara Stewart. A recent National Retail Federation report indicates that retail is poised to hire 15 percent of all computer science graduates. “Many middle school girls love fashion and clothes, yet, few would understand how fashion relates to STEM careers. In fact, there is employment demand for tech-savvy individuals to drive fashion and retail. Campers will gain exposure to opportunities to use technology in a career related to something they love,” said Stewart.

The registration deadline for the camp is May 10, 2019. Contact the director at, or 713.743.6264.

Download camp application.