The LSU Center for Computation & Technology, or CCT, has launched a new summer camp titled "Alice in Computation Land," to motivate and engage girls in grades 6-8 in the Baton Rouge and surrounding area in STEM programs (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The camp received such an overwhelming response that two sessions have been created, June 13-17 and July 18-22.

The two groups of camp participants will learn how to use a computer and  applications in their everyday lives, and the curriculum will also touch on computational science and technology such as modeling and simulations. Camp participants will simulate a forest fire, model a population of frogs and nutria, and take a glimpse into creating animation, games, and video. In addition, additional training and career opportunities will be highlighted to encourage these young women to explore a career in one of the STEM disciplines.  

"I am excited to be working with so many young women," said Kathy Traxler, camp instructor and CCT's education and outreach specialist.  "We intend to have a fun week learning about computers and how they affect our everyday lives. One goal of this workshop is to interest these young ladies in the sciences and technology so they will consider these disciplines for their careers. But the main objectives of the workshop are to have fun while learning in a college atmosphere and to promote higher education."

The Alice in Computation Land Camp is sponsored by the LSU CCT and is listed as a program of the National Girls Collaborative Project, a consortium for advancing the agenda in gender equity for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In addition, it is included in the Computer Science Collaboration Project, which specifically focuses on outreach to women and minorities.

"Computational skills that are acquired at a young age will serve students well as they prepare for the challenges of high school, college, and real-world careers," said Joel E. Tohline, CCT's director.  "While developing solid computational skills, students will necessarily also hone their skills in mathematics and logic. Providing an opportunity for young women to master such skills in a creative and fun environment will make it more likely that they will pursue careers in technical fields such as science and engineering. This is particularly important because, in the U.S., women are traditionally underrepresented in these areas of the workforce."

For more information on the LSU CCT, or the Alice in Computation Land Summer Camp, visit:  http://www.cct.lsu.edu.

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