Interest in STEM, Technical Careers Raise Female Ranks at Ranken Summer Camp


The student makeup at Ranken Technical College’s Summer Adventure Academy was quite different this year. Women have traditionally been under represented in past years at the Academy’s camps, but times are changing. This summer, females represented from 25% to 50% in many of the camps.

Ranken opens its doors for several weeks every summer to hundreds of middle school and high school students to spur their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and to encourage their decisions to pursue technical careers.

This year, of the 123 middle schoolers participating in the camps, 42 were girls. Especially popular with these young students, were the Heavy Metals (welding) camp, which featured hands-on welding, and the Web Design camp. These programs were almost evenly divided between males and females.

High school students are offered differed programs. In their camps, of the 142 participants, 38 were females. A “Women in Engineering” camp was filled, with other popular choices among female high schoolers being Remote Control Race Engineering, Robotics and Racing, Design & Engineering and Tetrix Robotics, with approximately 25 to 40% female participation. Wood Works and Adventures in Architecture were popular camps, as well.

“We are very pleased that young people, and especially young women, are taking advantage of these camp experiences,” said Ranken Vice President of Diversity and Student Success Crystal Herron. “The hands-on activities are educational, but they are also inspirational and aspirational. Both men and women are needed to fill technical jobs and we are helping them discover new career opportunities.”

The program, which charges minimal fees and offers scholarships, is funded in part by a National Science Foundation advanced technological education grant and by many generous local donors.

About Ranken Technical College
Ranken Technical College is a private, non-profit, degree-granting institution of higher learning whose primary mission is to provide the comprehensive education and training necessary to prepare students for employment and advancement in a variety of technical fields. For more information, visit

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