U.S. Mission Sends Girls from India, Kazakhstan, and Senegal to Weeklong STEM Camp in Colorado

Girls work together to solve engineering problems at the Challenger Learning Center's 2019 International STEM Camp in Colorado Springs, CO.

Girls Experience STEM Summer Camp at Challenger Learning Center of Colorado

July 26, 2019


This week, Challenger Learning Center of Colorado in Colorado Springs hosted eight high school-aged girls (three from India, two from the Republic of Kazakhstan, and three from Senegal) at its International Girls in STEM summer camp. This experience was made possible through funding from the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna, in partnership with the U.S.-based Challenger Learning Center, and through international student selection, recruitment, and participation managed by American Councils for International Education.


The girls participated in a weeklong camp that focused on teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving activities including programming LEGO Mindstorms to complete a space mission and using engineering design to address a problem in their community. The girls attended camp with eight local girls from Colorado Springs.


The girls have one common goal: to inspire lifelong interest in STEM-related fields that they can take back to their respective countries. One of the visiting students hopes to become a heart specialist and open health clinics in her community while another dreams of becoming a research biologist and contributing to the welfare of her country.


“This program is a tremendous opportunity to prepare the next generation of leaders in STEM fields,” said Benjamin Gaylord, Director of Secondary School Programs at American Councils for International Education. “Participants connect with peers from across the globe, learn about key STEM concepts, and provide hands-on experience to ground the applicability of the knowledge. We are thrilled to facilitate this wonderful opportunity for Americans and our international visitors to build connections to last a lifetime through their shared passion!”


“We are excited to work with American Councils for International Education and U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna to host this special group of international students for the second year in a row,” said Rob Fredell, CEO, Challenger Learning Center of Colorado. “Giving the local Colorado Springs students and our visiting international students the chance to work together is an incredible opportunity to learn about their various cultures and collaborate on exciting STEM projects.”


During the weeklong camp, the girls participated in various STEM activities, from tackling design challenges to building parachutes and stomp rockets, freeing a robot stuck on the surface of Mars, and more. All of the students will transform into different STEM professionals and learn the importance of communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. The students will also get an opportunity to share information about their home countries and cultures with each other.

About Challenger Learning Center of Colorado

The Challenger Learning Center of Colorado opened in 2002 with a mission to inspire and engage elementary and middle school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subject areas, using space as the motivating element. In the past 17 years, Challenger Learning Center of Colorado has served more than 220,000 Colorado school children about the wonders of space exploration. The organization is building, with Academy School District 20, a new 10,500 square foot home, slated to open in fall 2019. To learn more, visit www.challengercolorado.org.

About Challenger Center

As a leader in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Challenger Center provides more than250,000 students annually with experiential education programs that engage students in hands-on learning opportunities. These programs, delivered in Challenger Learning Centers and classrooms, strengthen knowledge in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields. Challenger Center was created by the Challenger families to honor the crew of shuttle flight STS-51-L. For more information about Challenger Center, please visit www.challenger.org or connect on Facebook and Twitter.

About American Councils for International Education

American Councils is an international nonprofit that strives to increase access to educational opportunities for individuals and institutions across the globe. Over a 40-year journey, our mission has guided us through 80 countries as we have built a community of 75,000 alumni — from high school and college students to ambassadors, diplomats, non- profit leaders, journalists, educators, artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, and other professionals.From developing the first exchanges of Eurasian and American students and teacher scholars, to current initiatives supporting collaborative education between the U.S., Middle East, South America, Asia, and Africa, American Councils designs and implements educational and academic programs in regions of the world deemed critical for U.S. economic competitiveness and national security. These programs are underpinned with thorough research that ensures their quality and integrity.