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STSI’s 11th Annual STEAM Camp A Resounding Success!

On July 17th, Sister to Sister International hosted its 11th Annual (and 1st Virtual) STEAM Camp Graduation Program for 19 local and one international middle and high school girls of color via Zoom. Generally the camp would be hosted in person at the Yonkers Riverfront Library, but due to the current pandemic, it was adapted to run online. AT&T and Jack & Jill of America, Inc. Rockland Orange Chapter are sponsors of the free Science Technology Engineering Arts & Math (STEAM) Camp that prepares “STEAM Sistahs” for college entry and pursuit of STEAM degrees. Cheryl Brannan, STEAM Camp founder and administrator stated that, “This year’s virtual camp was very enlightening and impactful. Although we are accustomed to a live camp (now in our 11th year), we leveraged the virtual framework to give a richer experience to our girls. The range of modules and activities was tremendous. The virtual format also enabled students to participate from the tri-state area, including New Jersey, and as far away as Senegal!” The memorable graduation ceremony included inspirational messages by various elected officials and supporters, including NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Amy Kramer, president of AT&T New York, along with speeches, Black Lives Matter essays, and presentations prepared and read by all the STEAM Sistahs involved in this year’s virtual camp. When asked what they liked most about the camp, a typical response from camp participants is as follows: “Getting to connect and interact with girls like me and to hear from inspirational black women and women of color in STEAM fields. Also, learning a little bit about what subjects in math and science I’m getting next year.” “The icebreakers!” During the two-week virtual camp, STEAM Sistahs started each day with some movement and exercise to get their blood flowing and five minutes of meditation. Throughout the camp duration, the girls were exposed to various STEAM careers and role models via online presentations and panels, academic courses, virtual field trips/tours, public speaking, social and dining etiquette, and much more. Though they couldn’t visit in person, STEAM Sistahs were still able to experience the wonders of BioBus, NY Waterway, and the AT&T Navy Yard. STEAM Camp participants spoke with a marine biologist, Microsoft coder (“Build an App”), an ecologist, and more. The STEAM Sistahs worked with educators that gave them a head start on their next year’s math (“Marvelous Math”) and science (“Sensational Science”) curriculums. Some of the modules they participated in were workshops on science based storytelling (“Storytelling through Science”), healthy cooking, self-care and love (“Loving You”), a high school/college panel, artificial intelligence (“Artificial Intelligence and Mozart”), financial literacy (“Morgan Stanley”), and civic engagement and voting (“When We All Vote”). They even were able to participate in a Black Lives Matter Town Hall and each wrote Black Lives Matter essays! Sister to Sister International (STSI) will begin its virtual STEAM Academy providing free tutoring in math and science, along with academic and personal development programs. The students will also become involved with personal action planning and the STSI Black Women Girl-Child initiative. For more information log onto to s2si.org or call 914-207-0368.

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