"Attending this camp has assisted my daughter in many ways – it’s great that she feels a sense of belonging to a group of unique girls! She feels she belongs and that she can make friends."
"I didn’t know that other people had ADHD and I didn’t think that I was smart. At camp, I met other people who had ADHD and made new friends that don’t think I’m weird."
"The most surprising thing I learned at camp was that I can have a career in science and math."
"The most surprising thing that I learned was that I am not the only girl in the world that has a disability."
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EXploring Interests in Technology and Engineering
Each year during the camp 30 middle school girls with disabilities enjoy hands-on activities such as making lip gloss, exploring acids and bases, tearing down a PC, making ice cream with liquid nitrogen, working with digital recording, programming Lego robots, and more. Check out pictures of these activities from previous camp years below.
All pictures below can be clicked to view a larger image.
Anyone at EX.I.T.E. camp who considered science a dry topic was in for a squishy surprise Medtronic volunteers took the stage. Amid squeals and giggles, girls got hands-on experience creating gooey, gushy polymers and sticky, squashy slime. Proving that science has both practical and beautiful relevance to teens, the girls created their own lip gloss. (Who knew Crisco, honey, and Kool-Aid had such potential!?) Medtronic volunteers also taught campers about microprocessors and emulsions, proving to 30 teens and tweens that science can be fun.
Welcome Accenture and Best Buy
All those cool videos on MTV had to start somewhere—why not EX.I.T.E. camp? Thanks to a team of creative, energetic volunteers from Accenture and Best Buy, 30 teens got a taste of what their favorite singers experience when creating a music video. After learning about storyboarding, design, and set management from the volunteers, the girls broke into small groups, created eye-catching costumes, selected a popular song, then took photos of their performance. Once the volunteers taught them how to use special editing software, the girls transformed their photos into short music videos. The “media” theme continued in the afternoon when KARE 11 meteorologist Belinda Jensen discussed the range of science careers—from astronomy to zoology—and inspired the girls to consider professions in science, technology, engineering, and math.
3M’s Visiting Wizards brought some wizard magic to camp – starting with the sorting house, where the girls were divided into two groups before creating magic rings and necklaces, rinky dinks, and gravity rings. Later, girls gained essential information for any budding wizard: how to create secret codes, make invisible ink, and turn British pence coins into gold sovereigns. After learning about the importance of water in the environment from the Science Museum of Minnesota, campers learned about fire and ice: flash paper drew excited “oohs,” and cryogenics resulted in instant ice cream and banana hammers.
Welcome IBM and Target
Why did Cinderella’s shoes fit only her? It all had to do with the biomechanics of her foot, as volunteers from IBM and Target explained. After hearing a brief history of shoes and a description of the scientific principles that go into creating them, campers used corrugated cardboard, glue, scissors, fabric, and sparkles to engineer Cinderella shoes of their own. Next, volunteers gave the girls an exciting introduction to marketing their new line of shoes. The girls researched ads online, then made posters advertising the features and selling points of their own creations. In the afternoon, Underwater Adventures gave the campers an introduction to aquatic animals and habitats and offered an opportunity to touch a shark!
Tour of IBM and Closing Ceremony
The last day of camp the campers learned how to take apart laptops and identify parts and built robots from Legos with the help of volunteers from IBM. Meeting women scientists who have disabilities and talking with executives about careers in science and technology made the day special and inspired 30 girls to see possibilities for themselves and think about their future in a new way. This exciting day came to a close with a closing ceremony celebration at PACER Center. Campers had the opportunity to share highlights from camp with their families and friends.