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New STEM summer camps to take place at Plum High School

Michael DiVittorio
| Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, 3:00 p.m.
Plum High School
Michael DiVittorio
Plum High School

Plum High School will host two new science, technology, engineering and math summer camps for female students in the Alle-Kiski Valley and for teachers.

One camp is designed to bolster confidence and interest in STEM education for girls in sixth through ninth grades. The other event is for professional development of faculty.

Both will involve programs that use technology including drones, virtual reality equipment and a 3D printer.

“We're so lucky at Plum to have so much technology and equipment,” said Stephanie Reilly, high school math and computer science department chairwoman. “They'll be trying everything.”

Camps are being funded through a $5,000 Learning and Leadership grant through the nonprofit National Education Association Foundation .

“We're thrilled that we got this money because we really wanted to hold this camp, and we needed some funding,” Reilly said.

Reilly and Regency Park Elementary Principal Martha Freese will serve as camp organizers.

Camp counselors will be Plum School District staff, and high school advanced placement computer science students will act as volunteers.

The student camp will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day from June 18 to 21. Cost is $25 per student. The faculty camp running June 25 to 28 is free. More details are expected to be announced in February.

“In middle school it all drops off for girls, and it shouldn't,” Reilly said, referring to interest in STEM. “We wanted it to be a no-pressure, girls-only camp where they're going to learn how to code and make apps.”

Reilly said the student cutoff is 60 participants to make it a “personalized and positive experience.”

“We don't want to have 200 kids here and then lose someone through the cracks,” she said. “I hope that these girls end their four days with confidence and excitement about coding and building stuff.”

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367 or

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