Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content


Girls' Summit is a hands-on S.T.E.A.M.-based career exploration day that introduces youth in grades 5-10 to “non-traditional” fields through a keynote address, a series of workshops, and a panel discussion.

May 20, 2023 | ESF and SU

A collaboration of Girls Inc (YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County); ESF Women's Caucus, Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (OIDE); Outreach and Experiential Learning Office (OELO); and Syracuse University Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) Program.

girl's summit

Workshop topics have included paper-making and testing, watershed models, wind turbines, heartbeat regulation, Science for Health and Life, coding, Scratch software, fermentation, environmental engineering, environmental health, ornithology, and more.


Caitlyn Copfer, Girls Inc. Program Manager, YWCA of Syracuse & Onondaga County, 315-424-0040
Heather Engelman, Program Coordinator, ESF Women's Caucus, 315-470-4752

History at ESF

In 2015, in response to long-standing requests to the Women's Caucus to extend the age range for Kids Day, and Girls Inc's Youth Development team's desire to find a permanent home for their established (but nomadic) program, the two groups partnered with ESF's first Interim Chief Diversity Officer to plan and host a career exploration program for middle and high school girls right here on campus. In 2016, we were joined by staff in Outreach (now the Office of Experiential Learning and Outreach), C-STEP, and SU's STEP program, and >90 participated in workshops and panels on both campuses! In fall 2017, Dimensions Mentoring program and our first official CDO joined the team to plan the 10th annual program in 2018, in which more than 100 participated! While the mission of Girls' Summit is to empower, motivate, educate, and change the perception of girls and women in S.T.E.A.M., the program is open to everyone, regardless of their sex, gender, or gender identity.

Workshop leaders develop 45-minute hands on experiences to introduce some aspect of their fields. Each workshop is offered 4 times over the program. Group guides are assigned to individual groups to facilitate discussions, administer pre- and post-surveys and ice breakers, and get groups to where they need to be over the course of the day. Help is also needed during registration, data compilation for reporting requirements, and during lunch. Volunteers must register in advance in order to be screened per SUNY Child Protection and SU's Risk Management Policies, and so they receive and review the training materials regarding those policies a well as any materials for their individual assignments. Sign up to volunteer.