For the third year in a row, University of Illinois Extension Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit, the Society of Women Engineers–Central Illinois, and Bradley University partnered together to offer STEM Bootcamp to high school age girls. 

STEM Bootcamp is designed to create a learning opportunity focused on teamwork, solving a problem, and mentorship by female engineers and scientists, according to a news release.

As part of the 2019 STEM Bootcamp, 22 high school girls learned about problem-solving and decision making by solving a crime through analyzing simulated blood, fiber, and hair. 

Participants also spent time in small groups with a member of the Society of Women Engineers doing mock interviews and discussing interview skills. 

“The time the girls spent interacting with female role models and mentors is one of my favorite parts of the day because it helps girls visualize who they could be in the future.” said Judy Schmidt, 4-H youth development educator, via the news release.

Since the first STEM Bootcamp in 2017, Illinois Extension has reached 80 young ladies through the day-long camp, with hands-on activities and career exploration, according to the release.

To find more information about programs related to STEM or programs for youth, visit the University of Illinois Extension website at