Welcome to EGEAR Summer Camp, where we Engage Girls in Engineering through Art and Reading! EGEAR is a day camp that uses characters, such as GoldieBlox, Rosie Revere the Engineer, Tinkerbell, and Lego Elves to explore engineering concepts like simple machines, spatial reasoning, and computational thinking. 

Campers will need to bring their lunch each day, but we will provide small snacks each morning and afternoon. The registration fee is $150 per week (partial scholarships are available for students for campers with financial need). A non-refundable deposit of $75 per session is due at registration. The remainder is due no later than June 30th for Session 1, and July 15th for Session 2. Camp registration will include all required materials for activities and crafts and a camp t-shirt. 2019 summer dates will be announced in early January (2019).

Please direct all registration questions to Dr. Ruth Wertz at egear@valpo.edu or 219-464-6965.


Click the pictures to watch our videos!


Team Challenge

R2D2 Visit

For years, researchers have tried to understand why there are so few women in STEM fields. In early elementary school, girls and boys show equal interest and ability in science and math, so what happens? Of course, this is a highly complex problem with many contributing factors. One important factor is spatial ability, the ability to create and rotate mental models in your mind’s eye. Spatial ability is a different skill set than math ability and has not historically been a traditional component of early childhood education. Gaps in spatial ability between girls and boys can be detected as early as elementary school and tend to become more pronounced with age. Research across various cultures suggest that biology is not the reason these gaps develop, instead it may have more to do with how kids play, and what they play with. For example, research participants who were found to have above average spatial abilities were also more likely to report having played with blocks, erector sets, and other types of construction toys; in other words, toys that require visualizing how things fit together, interpreting 2D graphics to build 3D models, and observing how materials could be combined to make and support complex shapes and structures. We think it’s important that girls get the opportunity to explore these types of toys and activities in their own space, and in their own way.

It’s no secret that being a great engineer is about a lot more than being good at math and science. But what exactly does more include? We tell our engineering students on a regular basis that all the easy well-defined problems have been solved. Employers will be hiring them for their ability to think and solve problems creatively and to communicate complex ideas to a broad range of audiences. Of course, these skills require a strong technical background, but they also leverage a strong liberal arts background that promotes different ways of learning, thinking, and doing.

More than that, art and literature provide ways to connect to and explore the physical world we occupy. It’s one thing to learn about circuits with conductors and insulators using obscure-looking breadboards and electrical components. It’s another thing all together to create animals and designs out of Playdoh and modeling clay that are lit up by LEDs with two wires and a battery! Same basic lesson, but learning through play, art, and even favorite story characters have the potential to immerse kids in a different experience entirely.

Spatial skills (spatial relations and spatial visualizations) have been identified by the National Science Board as being just as critical for success in STEM as math and verbal skills. In addition, computational thinking skills (pattern recognition, sequencing, logic, etc.) are essential building blocks of programming and programming language, and thus are also emerging as critical skills for careers in STEM fields.

Our EGEAR campers will participate in activities designed around games, toys, and projects that target spatial skills and computational thinking with plenty of room for creativity. Our campers will work, play, and build within teams to compete in design challenges, scavenger hunts, games, and more. The EGEAR camp will offer research-based curriculum organized and facilitated by Professor Ruth Wertz.

See below for a list of FAQs or contact us at egear@valpo.edu.

 Q: When does registration for Summer 2017 begin?

A: Registration for EGEAR is OPEN! You can register and pay online (by the end of April) or submit the required registration and medical forms along with a non-refundable deposit of $75 to the following address:

Dr. Ruth Wertz

College of Engineering
1900 Chapel Drive
Valparaiso, IN 46383

Q: Can I register online?

A: We expect our online payment link to be operational by the end of April. In the meantime you can complete your forms online and mail your non-refundable deposit of $75 (checks payable to Valparaiso University). Be sure to include your child’s name with your payment! Your child’s spot will not be officially held until we receive your deposit, mailed to the address above.

Q: Is food provided or do I need to send a lunch?

A: Campers will need to bring their own lunch. We will provide two snacks throughout the day; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. If your child has a food allergy please make sure to include this information in the medical form.

Q: What is the cost of the camp?

A: The full registration fee of the camp is $150 for the one-week camp. This includes all material costs, and one camp t-shirt for the girls to wear on our spirit day (last day of camp). A $75 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. The full registration must be paid by June 30th. A 10% late fee will be applied to any registration paid after June 30th.

Q: Where will the camp be located?

A: The camp will be help on Valparaiso University’s campus. We will spend most of our time in the Gellersen Engineering and Mathematics Center, but we will be headed outdoors and explore other parts of the campus as well. We may even get a tour of the new science building, scheduled to open this June!





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 Registration Form  Online Payment  Medical Form PDF


Note: If you do not have a printer available to you, we can have a registration packet mailed to you. Please contact egear@valpo.edu to put in a request today!

Payment can also be mailed to:

Ruth Wertz
College of Engineering
1900 Chapel Drive
Valparaiso, IN

Interested in other Valparaiso University camps for children? Click here for Summer Smart, Summer Fun's website!