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Participants in a Science, Technology and Engineering Preview Summer work on a project

Igniting an interest in STEM for girls in grades 6th and 8th

STEPS Program

Science, Technology, and Engineering Preview Summer (STEPS) Program

STEPS Program is an introduction to the exciting world of science, technology, and engineering. We hope to expose learners to potential engineering careers, college life and ignite an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

These summer day-long engineering programs are available at no-cost for girls who are currently in 6th or 8th grade. The programs are hosted by and held at the University of St. Thomas, School of Engineering in St. Paul, MN.

Participants engineer, make, connect with mentors, create projects in the engineering labs, unwind at the University of St. Thomas recreation facilities and work with engineering faculty to build resources that they can access throughout their high school careers.

For more information, please contact Dr. Deb Besser, Director of the Center for Engineering Education.


Dr. Deb Besser

Director of the Center for Engineering Education
Instructor explains an activity to the group

Benefits for Girls Who Join the STEPS Program

  • Gain knowledge about what engineers do.
  • Learn from instructors with extensive backgrounds in STEAM education.
  • Participate in hands-on workshops with high-tech equipment and processes.
  • Make new friends and gain college-life experience and recreation at St. Thomas.
Girl being helped by instructor with her project

Who, When, Where and How Much?


  • Girls who are currently in 6th or 8th grade are eligible to apply and are selected randomly by lottery.
  • STEPS one-day programs at St. Thomas are typically scheduled in June.
  • STEPS is free for all participants.
  • An online application will be posted once we have decided whether we are able to offer the camps in 2022.