During the December holidays, five lucky Dainfern College girls from Grade 7 and Grade 8 were given the opportunity to attend the inaugural Heritage STEM Camp together with 32 other girls from schools around South Africa and Nigeria. Alexia Duvenage, Nerissa Govender and Jenna Sampson from Grade 7 and Gabrielle Smith and Victoria Pettitt from Grade 8 were the Dainfern College representatives. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics which traditionally have not been subjects in which girls were expected to excel. This type of camp aims to expose girls to the STEM subjects and demonstrate how integral these skills are in the 21st Century.
The dynamic Heritage team from the United States had prepared a jam-packed and incredibly informative programme, covering topics ranging from DNA extraction to building and launching rockets. The topics varied greatly and there was something for everybody. Lecturers were top US academics and specialists in their fields. The camp took place at a venue on the West Rand and included a visit to the Cradle of Humankind. Parents were invited to the opening and closing ceremonies and given an overview of what the camp involved as well as what the girls experienced and were taught. Some of the girls were awarded prizes for their contribution to the success of the Camp and our own Alexia Duvenage received the 'Spirit of Heritage' STEM Award for fully embracing everything that the camp encompassed.
Gabrielle Smith commented: "The experience opened our eyes to the incredible opportunities that come with the study of the STEM subjects. This was a truly memorable and worthwhile experience and I would encourage other girls to explore the possibilities of STEM and the opportunities it can open up for them."
Watch the newsclip below to share some of the girls' experiences at the Camp: