Girlstart Summer Camp


“What’s most valuable about this program is that they make the STEM subjects accessible and welcoming to girls, and they have metrics to track how their participants are learning and how the program is changing their attitudes and their self-esteem. It’s a great organization to work with, and we’re convinced it can achieve much more.”

-- Michele Glaze, Strategic Giving Manager for North America, Dell

Program Type

Hands on/Project-Based
Informal /Out of School

Target Audience





Pre-K - 5
Grades 6 - 8

 Ready to Scale link

Program Impact

Booz Allen Hamilton, the Afterschool Alliance, and the prestigious education research film SEDL have all joined CTEq in recognizing Girlstart as one of the nation's best STEM programs for girls. Girls who take part in Girlstart Summer Camp say they are more interested in STEM and more confident in their own abilities to succeed in STEM.subjects.


Program Overview

Girlstart Summer Camp aims to make STEM learning engaging and accessible for girls of all ages and backgrounds. Based in Austin, Texas, Girlstart Summer Camps are thematic, 40-hour, week-long STEM experiences for girls in the 3rd through 10th grades.

Girlstart Summer Camp is designed to build STEM skills and increase participants' interest in STEM subjects and careers through a program that aims to be intensive, age-appropriate, and gender-specific as well as fun, informal and collaborative. For example, camp themes include engineering and physics through the lens of the 'Harry Potter' book series. Summer Camp intends to increase girls' mastery in STEM subjects by introducing girls to real-world applications as well as activities that build participants' skills.

How To Get Involved

Girlstart Summer Camps seek donations of money, equipment, and time from STEM professionals who can serve as role models and mentors for girls in the program. it costs $300 to send a girl to a Summer Camp. The vast majority of girls attend Summer Camps for free, thanks to the generosity of donors. Click here to learn more.

Funders and Partners

Girlstart is grateful for generous donors that have made Girlstart Summer Camp expansion and replication possible. They include: AMD/Changing the Game; Dell; Google; Motorola Solutions Foundation; NASA Summer of Innovation Program; and NASA's CP4SMP+ initiative. In addition, Girlstart Summer Camp has donors among the CTEq member corporations, including Battelle; Connect a Million Minds (An Initiative of Time Warner Cable); IBM; Intel; and JPMorgan Chase.


Tamara Hudgins, Executive Director

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.