Summer camp: Showcasing the arts, energy

WARREN — Area girls who spent five weeks at the YWCA’s summer program were able to learn about solar energy and other energy sources through visits to local companies.

The 20 girls ages 11 to 14 visited Starr Manufacturing, Warren Fabricating, Vallourec and other places to see manufacturing careers offered to women.

Robin Perez, teen program coordinator, said when the girls returned to the YWCA they utilized what they have learned to make solar homes and other artwork.

Sonya Davenprot, art instructor, said in addition to field trips to different manufacturing companies, the girls met with Miles Jay of Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership. She said the girls painted large board that will be used for abandoned homes to help beautify Warren.

She said while the girls learned science, math and technology, they also incorporated art as part of the five weeks.

Leah Merritt, CEO of YWCA of Mahoning Valley, said funding partners, including the United Way and Arconic, helped provide the tours for the girls.

“We wanted the girls to think of STEM careers and jobs. We partnered with local industries so they girls could see different career opportunities,” Merritt said.

Ralf Urbach, senior educator at OH!WOW Center in Youngstown, said after taking tours and learning how companies use solar energy, the girls were given materials to make their own solar homes and generate energy.

“They learned of alternative energy sources and saw wind turbines and hydroelectricity,” Urbach said noting he learned also from the girls.

For their exhibit, they were to build an eco home utilizing solar energy power. Perez said the girls also learned about how to sell a home and budgeting. For the final day of the program, the girls showed off their work.

Lordstown resident Mary Bodifort, a grandmother to Kamila Perez of Warren, said she liked the signs and the solar houses the children made.

“This was a nice program that have them something to do for the summer. I was really impressed with the solar energy houses,” she said.

Bodifort said the children loved the field trip and getting to swim.

Kamila Perez said the houses light up because of the sunlight.

Shelli Rosier of Cortland said her children liked the field trips to see different careers.

“She liked building houses and wants to be an architect,” Rosier said.

Regina Mitchell, co-owner of Warren Fabricating & Machining in Hubbard, said the girls had the opportunity to see manufacturing jobs women do.

“There are plenty of opportunities for women in the manufacturing careers,” she said.

Davenport said the girls were exposed to STEM to raise awareness of different jobs that are available. She said they also learned ceramics and other media to show their creativity.

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