HOLYOKE – The conclusion of this summer’s Eureka!, the Girl’s Inc. summer program for science, drew raves not only from the participants and their families, but also from the Sen. Elizabeth Warren and University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass) Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy.
Watching the presentations at the final meeting of the Girls Inc. Eureka! program were (first row, left to right) Girls Inc. Executive Director Suzanne Parker and Sen. Elizabeth Warren and (back row. left to right) Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, City Councilor Anthony Soto and University of Massachusetts at Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy.
Reminder Publications photo by G. Michael Dobbs
The final “Teach Back Friday,” in which the students shared with the entire group their results of projects, was conducted at visitor’s center of Holyoke Heritage State Park on Aug. 1. The students shared the results of their research of topics as diverse as lung cancer to paranoid schizophrenia.
The program was co-sponsored by the College of Natural Sciences at UMass and Subbaswamy said that it was part of the university’s outreach mission. He said it was important to introduce science to the young teen girls in the program.
“Eureka! Is a good description because they discover [science] for themselves,” he said.
He noted the importance of science in the economy of the Commonwealth and said more people seeking careers in science and technology are needed.
Subbaswamy is also hoping the young women from the program attend UMass.
“I’m counting on every one of them doing well in high school and coming to our campus,” he said.
After their presentations, the students were asked to share their feelings about the program. One said, “It was fun. I got to go to UMass.” Another student declared, “This is the best experience I’ve ever experienced in the experience of my life.”
Suzanne Parker, the executive director of Girls Inc, said the conclusion of the program was “an incredible moment to see.”
Warren said the program was “Girls Inc. at its best. It’s girls figuring out how they build a future.”
Warren said the participants who are young teens are “just waking up to their futures and they’re seeing those futures in math and science and engineering and areas of technology.”
Warren has been a vocal advocate for student loan reform in Congress and was asked about her fight in the future. “I come here to talk to these girls, but I also come here to draw energy from these girls. I’ll go back to Washington to fight harder than ever for them to have an opportunity to get an education without being crushed by student loan debt,” she said.
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