It’s summer, and high school girls’ thoughts turn to … science camp.

For the third year in a row, a popular program called “Girls Get It Science Camp” will be held at Hillsboro High School, and it’s open to girls in seventh grade through 12th grade.

Camp founder Savannah Loberger said she wants to make it easier for girls to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the “STEM” curriculum.

“I’ve been a huge STEM advocate for awhile,” explained Loberger, who graduated from Hillsboro High School in June. “The camp is just one thing I can do to help out.”

Loberger has a passion for science and engineering, and plans to pursue a career in the field. She will be attending Oregon State University in the fall, majoring in mechanical engineering.

Last year, Loberger served on a STEM Task Force set up by the governor’s office and she spoke at the Oregon Business Leadership Summit on how important STEM is — so her interest in the topic is much more than a summer fancy.

“This started off as my Gold Award program for the Girl Scouts,” she said. “I started the camp there in the summer of 2011, and it went so well that last year we ran three camps. We teach a little bit of everything: soldering projects, programming robots, creating electronic components, creating video games, you name it.”

This year there will be two sessions. The first one runs July 8-12, and the second one is July 15-19. Each session can take as many as 40 girls, but the spaces are filling up fast.

Camp is popular, but it doesn’t come cheap: Loberger said she needs to do a lot of fundraising to pay for all that is offered.

“The girls are charged $40, but for us to run the camp, it costs $300 per girl,” she pointed out. “It’s a lot of money to raise, but it’s worth it so girls can have the opportunity. It’s important to keep costs low so girls can afford it. We have a lot of low-income families in the area.”

Most of the donations for the science camp come from businesses, including Tri-Quint and Intel.

“They’ve been a big support,” she said.

Another major contributor is the Hillsboro School District, which donates access to Hillsboro High School to give girls a forum for advanced learning.

Loberger said the camp is held at Hilhi because the school offers access to valuable facilities and equipment.

“The school has computer labs, a laser-cutter and a 3-D printer. And the Hillsboro School District donates the space,” she said.

Loberger added that the program is “girls teaching girls.”

“It’s not a teacher standing in front lecturing girls. It’s a very supportive and positive environment,” she said. “It’s so much fun teaching girls. This is a great program for anyone, and no prior knowledge is required.”

For more on the science camp for girls, go to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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