Grant will help more girls take part in summer STEAM workshops


Sally Ride Science @ UC San Diego has received a $30,000 grant to allow more middle school and high school girls to attend summer STEAM workshops.

The grant from the San Francisco-based Hellman Foundation will fund scholarships over the next three years for students attending the Sally Ride Science Junior Academy.

The academy provides fascinating and fun summer learning experiences in science, technology and engineering with applied mathematics and art design (STEAM). All students entering grades 6 through 12 are welcome, but the program’s emphasis is on encouraging girls in STEAM subjects.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Hellman Foundation to expand opportunities in the sciences for girls and young women,” said Tam O’Shaughnessy, executive director of Sally Ride Science @ UC San Diego. “Our goal is to inspire them to stick with their natural interest in STEAM and to consider STEAM careers.”

This summer’s Junior Academy runs from July 11-29. The 12 workshops range from "Messy Discoveries" to "Music of Earthquakes" and from "Slimy Sea Creatures" to "Digital 3D Modeling." Students take on roles such as robotics engineer, ocean explorer or computer scientist as they immerse themselves in hands-on projects. Top STEAM instructors lead the workshops, serving as both teachers and role models.

Scholarships for the Junior Academy will go to girls selected from the program’s partners in the military, foster youth organizations, the San Diego Unified School District and other groups.

Ed Abeyta, assistant dean of community engagement and director of pre-college programs for UC San Diego Extension, said the scholarship program was designed to deliver on UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla’s Strategic Plan that aims to bolster the university’s commitment to diversity and equity and better serve the larger community.

Karen Flammer, director of education for Sally Ride Science @ UC San Diego, added, “Our goal is to bring together girls with diverse backgrounds from all over San Diego and let them tinker and explore STEAM concepts in a collaborative environment. Scholarships make this possible.”

This summer’s workshops will be held at UC San Diego Extension’s University City complex at 6256 Greenwich Dr. Each workshop consists of one week of 3-hour sessions. Morning and afternoon sessions are offered. The cost is $150 per workshop. For more information on the Junior Academy, visit

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