On this page:
Eureka! is an innovative 5-year program, recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative, that addresses the gender gap in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Eureka! at UMass is a partnership between UMass Amherst and Girls Inc. of Holyoke, launched in 2013 with the long-term goal of motivating girls to pursue post-secondary education and careers in STEM fields.
Each year, a cohort of 30 rising eighth grade girls begins a five-year journey. The first two years of the program take place on the campus of UMass Amherst throughout the month of July, allowing girls access to a college environment and STEM experts (professors and graduate students) who act as program facilitators. The UMass Recreation Center offers structured physical activities and wellness programming. Dining Services provides nutritional meals and workshops on healthy eating habits. Eureka! activities continue throughout the school year, reinforcing the skills and knowledge gained during the summer.
Years 3 through 5 provide the Eureka! scholars with individual externships, community college course work and support for the college application process. Eureka! activities continue throughout the school year, reinforcing the skills and knowledge gained during the summer. This long-term, sustained involvement supports girls in pursuing post-secondary education and careers that will enable them to be independent and successful throughout their lives.
As of 2016 Eureka! is:
- 30 8th graders who completed their first year of the Eureka! program at UMass (Rookies).
- 30 9th graders who completed their second year of workshops at UMass (Vets).
- 24 10th graders who completed individual “Externship” experiences throughout the area.
- 14 11th graders who piloted a for-credit course at Holyoke Community College and are now preparing for success in college.
- 140 instructors (faculty, post-docs, graduate students, undergrads) engaging in various ways in Eureka! instructional activities.
- The Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, providing leadership and staffing to support the development of the UMass-Girls Inc. collaboration and joint fundraising activities.
- The Recreation Center, providing classes in Zumba, Yoga, Spinning, Healthy Body Image and more, along with personalized health and wellness journals for each girl.
- Campus Dining services, providing discounted lunches and presenting hands-on workshops on how to make healthy snacks, making smart meal choices, & the science of baking.
- UMass Information Technology, providing training and support in the use of computer classrooms and technology.
- UMass Libraries, the Digital Media Lab, & the 3-D Printing Innovation Center, providing access to resources and equipment, as well as workshops and technical training in their use.
- University News & Media Office, documenting progress as the Eureka! collaboration continues and as the Eureka! scholars progress through the program.
- During the month of July Eureka Scholars first entering the program (Rookies) and students returning for their second year (Vets) spend each day on the UMass Amherst campus, immersed in STEM workshops, health and wellness activities, and personal development classes.
- UMass faculty and students volunteer to lead 1 to 2 day workshops (2 hours per day) for the entering Rookies, and 2 to 4 day workshops (2 hours per day) for the returning Vets.
- Instructor Orientation and Training sessions are offered in May and June to help instructors tailor their workshops to their specific audiences.
Monthly Saturday Workshops
- Throughout the school year, Eureka Scholars continue to meet monthly, on campus and at locations throughout the area, to continue exploring STEM activities and preparing for college life.
- "Building with Macaroni: Why Buildings Don't Fall Down"
- "Build Your Own Solar Cell"
- "T-Shirts & Bubblegum: Growing Plants for Food and Life"
- “Forensic Geology: The Sands of Crime”
- “PLOP” Fluid Dynamics and the Egg Drop”
- "Could Robots Replace Our Brains?"
- "3D Printing: Making Your World"
- "The Buzz About Bumble Bees"
- "The Chemistry of Baking"
News and Media
- Environmental Health Sciences faculty members inspire girls to pursue STEM learning
- Eureka! Gets Tough With Invasive Species, July 2015
- Senator Elizabeth Warren visits Eureka! August 2014
- Governor Duval Patrick visits Eureka! July 2014
- Eureka’s First Summer at UMass--Springfield Republican, July 2013
Christine Hatch, UMass Extension Assistant Professor
Jane Markarian, CNS Special Projects and Outreach