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The first annual Camp Engies took place June 9 -10, 2018 and was an enormous success. The two-day, one-night engineering retreat, hosted at the Tamarack Adventure Centrein Bracebridge, Ontario, served as a “weekend getaway” for girls in grades six through eight. The main goal of Camp Engies is to encourage young girls to explore engineering at an early age and RJC could not not have been more proud to be a part of this exciting initiative.

Cassondra Fonseca, the founder of Camp Engies, is a Project Engineer at Hydro One and over the past decade, has volunteered at countless engineering inspired events speaking to young girls in elementary school through to university. The purpose of the Camp is to pique girl’s interest in engineering at an early age within an engaging and hands-on environment. Cassondra believes targeting girls at an early age and introducing them to the world of engineering and giving them the opportunity to meet successful women in the field, challenges the notion that that math and science are too difficult and boring.

Packed with exciting engineering-focused workshops; the interactive weekend was designed and run by women from the Ontario engineering community, including Rana Tehrani Yekta, a Design Engineer at RJC. Activities for the young campers revolved around chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering and consisted of various tasks to design, build and test autonomous vehicles. Points were awarded for creativity, aesthetics, cost, presentation and the successful completion of three challenges.

The campers, all of different backgrounds, were recruited from both public and catholic schools, Big Brother/Big Sister Organizations and the new immigrant community. This very diverse group created many unique designs. The camp left the girls with a sense of pride, empowerment and a clear picture of what engineering entails… role models included!