Summer Summit with Tess Bradford
How are you adapting the program to be virtual this year?
Due to COVID-19, we made the decision to go virtual with this year’s week-long Summer Summit. We have amazing women STEM professionals and guest speakers lined up, who will lead engaging conversations and conduct virtual hands-on activities with our students. While we’re sad that we’re unable to interact with students face-to-face, we are excited to have talented professionals from across the Nation ready to share their insight and knowledge with students throughout the week.
Why is this program such an important resource for girls interested in STEM?
Her Spark is a valuable and much needed resource for girls interested in STEM, as it allows them to interact with like-minded girls to explore STEM in an environment where they feel welcomed, confident and empowered. Parents and students have shared that girls are often deterred from pursuing STEM due to the misconception that girls lack the ability to successfully fulfill the requirements for STEM courses and careers. We're debunking these ignorant notions. Her Spark is a resource meant to encourage girls to pursue STEM, and our mission is to equip girls with the STEM skills and opportunities to succeed in the careers of tomorrow. We are dedicated to solving gender disparity in computer science, engineering and technology professions.
What are you most excited for about for this year’s event?
For this year’s Summer Summit, there are many things I’m excited about. For the first time ever, I’m happy to share that we have a day focused on medical professions. Our medical guests include a nurse, doctor, veterinarian and pharmaceutical professionals. In the midst of COVID-19, I'm eager for students to see that we, too, have to be adaptable due to circumstances outside of our control. It’s a great lesson for our students and for Her Spark supporters to understand the need for adaptability while continuing to pursue our goals in an ever-changing environment....but what I'm most excited about is that we are VIRTUAL. We’re now able to expand the reach of our camp beyond North Carolina. Going virtual allows us to grow in new ways to better connect with students.
What can attendees expect to learn?
This year’s attendees will be introduced to a variety of disciplines in STEM - from coding to engineering to medicine. During the week students will learn about many different paths to STEM, and understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all curriculum or path to STEM careers. I also want girls to see that women in STEM look like them. These women leaders had the same goals and dreams as our students. By attending our Summer Summit, my hope is for each girl to leave the week with a sense of confidence in her ability to pursue and succeed in STEM. I want each girl to realize there’s a community to support her along her STEM journey.
I hope everyone has a safe and fun summer. Join us July 20-24 for Her Spark’s 2020 Virtual Summer Summit.
President & Co-founder