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GIT mentors recap their week

As the final day of the 2021 Girls in Tech Camp comes to a close we asked all the staff and mentors what they thought of the week they had just spent with these girls and what was their favorite thing that happened or that they learned this week.


Here are some of their answers:


Alyssa Lawton

Undergraduate student at Hawai'i Pacific University studying Electrical Engineering & Computer Science


"The STEM camp was an amazing opportunity to have girls immerse themselves in STEM fields such as Computer Science, Astronomy, Botany, and Marine Science. Not only did these girls gain so much knowledge in just five days but they also formed deep-rooted friendships and memories that they can take back home with them. My favorite activity during this week was the Computer Science fair held on Monday. I believe the girls really enjoyed the exposure to various technologies. I learned so much from these girls as they have taught me to appreciate myself more while they're learning to appreciate themselves and one another. This experience has been an encouragement for all participants to pursue their dreams and passions."


Megan Andreasen

Graduate student at Hawai'i Pacific University studying Marine Science


"The STEM camp created a safe space for young girls to be themselves without everyday societal pressures while teaching future STEM opportunities to the girls that they may pursue in the future. My favorite thing that happened during the week was during botany day we were looking at algae under the microscope and we found many other marine organisms! We found a baby brittle star, small worms, and other tiny living creatures! It blended marine science into the botany day."



Heidi Beswick

Graduate student at Hawai'i Pacific University studying Marine Science


"This STEM camp was an awesome way to connect professionals in science and technology fields with bright and curious high school students. The days were packed from start to finish with a wide variety of activities, from playing with advanced technology to engaging with laboratory environments and techniques. I really enjoyed the nightly activities with Kumu Kaleo. I learned so much about Hawaiian culture and felt moved by the E Ho Mai oli. Kumu Kaleo is so warm and engaging, and I loved her story-telling style. I learned so much more about Hawaiian traditions during this week than in my previous two years living here."


Rechelle Ancheta

Undergraduate student at Hawai'i Pacific University studying Electrical Engineering, minoring in Computer Science


"My favorite thing that happened during the week was marine biology day, as well as how my group came out of their shell and became themselves; forming a good friendship amongst themselves. On marine biology day, what stood out to me was how they were finding ways to separate plastic debris from the sand; my engineering mind started to think about how I could build a device that could make the process faster."


Fiza Zahid

Graduate student at Hawai'i Pacific University studying Marine Science


"The girls in tech camp was an amazing opportunity for girls across the islands to come together and learn about STEM and themselves. Seeing the girls in my group learn and grow as scientists while making lifelong friendships was incredible. My favorite part of camp was astronomy day where we learned about star navigation and were able to talk to one of the navigators from Hōkūleʻa"



Katie Hearther

Graduate student at Hawai'i Pacific University studying Oceanography and Marine Biology


"This STEM camp brought together girls from across the Hawaiian islands to learn about the importance of technology in several different STEM fields including Astronomy, Computer Science, Botany, and Marine Science. It was absolutely wonderful to see these bright young women get excited about the different aspects of each field. For most of us it was our first large social interaction since the beginning of the pandemic, and watching them all make new friends was an incredible breath of fresh air. My favorite thing that happened during the week was meeting the navigator Kaiulani Murphy. My background is in Oceanography, and it was so exciting and inspiring to listen to her stories about traveling on the Hōkūleʻa. She was a wonderful speaker, and also a wonderful teacher! She taught us how to find several constellations, important stars, and the four star lines. It was awe-inspiring to learn a short bit about how ancient voyagers traveled with just the stars, wind, and currents to guide them. I am hoping to enroll in her Hawaiian Navigation course this fall!"


Cherise Spotkaeff

Graduate student at Hawai'i Pacific University studying Marine Science


"The camp was very rewarding in terms of socialization and exposure to STEM careers for the girls. My girls really liked the interactive portions of the camp, with their favorite being computer science day. They loved being able to actually do something."


Luis Marquez

Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology


"Over the past month, we collaborated on creating a virtual experience for the GIT camp. Moreover, this virtual portion of the camp would allow girls who were unable to attend the camp, but were still interested in participating. With this in mind, we tried to find time in the schedule that best accommodates the virtual experience as well as a protocol on how the virtual experience would be delivered. In the end, we were able to incorporate a virtual experience through the “App Labs”. These labs specifically focus on the in’s and out’s of developing an app. Girls who were interested were able to log onto a zoom link and learn with the GIT girls about app development throughout the week. Mentors and GRA’s hosted the zoom link and helped to encourage participation. Virtual girls even got the chance to do a presentation alongside the in-person girls."




We want to give a big thank you to these dedicated undergraduate and graduate students for helping make this camp a success this week. These wonderful students were amazing mentors to the girls and truly helped the girls learn and become more excited about pursuing STEM pathways.

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