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WVU Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources Hosts All-Female Camp

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The West Virginia University Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources is holding its first ever all-female engineering camp this week.

"It's just, it's more comfortable being around other girls," said Sara King, a participant in the camp. "Because they're easier to relate to."

It's a week-long camp that focuses on teaching girls about engineering should they choose that path.

Meghan Kennedy is a Morgantown High School junior. She plans to go to Carnegie Melon or WVU.

"I thought about focusing in bio-medical, or maybe even aerospace, or civil engineering," Kennedy said. "That's mainly why I'm here to get a focus and a field to go into."

One of the first activities the girls participated in was a Melon Drop. The girls chose from basic materials to build their device including construction paper, trash bags, and newspaper.

They split up into groups and try to make the container withstand a drop from a bridge outside the engineering building.

Sara King traveled from Tampa, Florida to attend the camp.

"I really like working in creative groups with people who have new ideas," King said. "It's a lot of fun to interact with people."

Instructors said this is the first camp where every group's melon survived the fall.

That project wasn't the only focus, though.

"We're doing basically the same activities that we have done the past two weeks with the co-ed camps," said Halle Virgin, the supervising Day Counselor for the camp. "These ones are a little more focused in saying this is a mostly male dominated field, where can you find your niche."

Each day the girls learn new things about engineering from women in the engineering field.

"Everybody is always telling me that as a female engineer you have so many more opportunities and I'm really excited about that," Kennedy said. "I feel like they focus in and they know what your experiences are. Because you're taught by female engineers and they know what you're going through."

The camp will close out Friday with a poster competition and awards ceremony.

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