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Girls Inc. of Worcester: Developing an Outdoor STEM Curriculum for Camp Kinneywood

Project Description

During this project, we researched and interviewed organizations to create environmental science STEM curriculum for Worcester Girls Inc. Camp Kinneywood summer camp. The team conducted focus groups and pilot studies to evaluate and assess the curriculum. They provided a binder containing all the lesson plans with activity instructions and information related to the curriculum. The curriculum is designed to be flexible, allowing instructors and students to lead the investigations to where they are most interested. It’s recommended that surveys are held before and after the program to assess if any aspects of the curriculum need to be modified. It’s also suggested that another team evaluates the curriculum in the future as Massachusetts guidelines are updated and changed. New education research is also actively being conducted, so a group can assess the program with new findings which would benefit the students.

Project Sponsor: Girl Inc. of Worcester

Girls Incorporated (“Girls Inc.”) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to addressing the obstacles that young girls experience. This organization focuses on providing the necessary resources to assist girls in becoming their best selves as they grow up. Girls Inc.’s mission statement is to “inspire ALL girls to be strong, smart, and bold”(Girls Inc. of Worcester, 2020). Girls Inc. provide young women with the resources they need to empower, support, and educate themselves while tackling economic, gender, and social barriers. Specifically, this organization wishes to educate young girls on how to advocate for positive change for themselves and their communities.

Student Researchers

Edwin Joseph

Alferid Hussin Shifa

James Martin

Victoria Tetreault

Meet the Team

Edwin is a rising senior majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in business management. Some of his similar experiences to this project include his involvement in Young Neighbors In Action and his time working as a tutor in RSM. The reason why he did this project is that he wanted to help kids learn and enjoy themselves.

Alferid has always been interested in STEM and is excited to have the chance to share his passions with young kids. Over the term, he had gained a lot of insight from the positive interactions he has had with educators, counselors, and the kids themselves. He has really enjoyed working on this project and he is glad that he was able to assist Girls Inc. to make a difference in the lives of young girls.

James is 21 years old and studying Mechanical Engineering at WPI. James doesn’t have much experience working with kids or teaching kids but a similar experience comes from taking WPI’s Educational Psychology course. He wanted to do this project because he think it would be important to understand how kids learn

Victoria is majoring in Interactive Media and Astrophysics. Their similar experiences come from their time as teaching assistants and as a camp counselor. The reason why they are doing this project is that they love working with kids

Project Goal and Objectives

Project Goal: The goal of the project was to create a fun and interactive summer camp program for Girls Inc to introduce girls to STEM and teach engineering problem-solving with a focus on environmental sciences.

Project Objectives: To help the girls get more exposure to STEM topics and the nature around the camp, we designed a STEM curriculum at Camp Kinneywood. To accomplish our goal the objectives are as follows:

Objective 1: Resource Evaluation
Objective 2: Investigating Interests & Preconceptions
Objective 3: Understanding Outdoors STEM Education Programs
Objective 4: Developing a STEM Curriculum
Objective 5: Conducting a Pilot Study
Objective 6: Program Evaluation & Refinement.

Final Report and Deliverables

After gathering research and lesson plan material, we designed an 8-week STEM curriculum that corresponded to the weekly theme set up by our sponsor, with a few key elements included in each activity lesson plan.

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Activity Binder

Click on the link to see the whole activity binder, including lesson plans and a materials list.