A free camp this summer aims to provide LGBTQ+ youth a safe place to connect with their peers and participate in activities relating to science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
“We felt that it was important to facilitate activities for queer and questioning youth to be able to participate in something like STEM education while exploring their identity,” said Crista Sorenson, developmental director at the Logan Pride Center.
In an effort to create such an opportunity, the Pride Center is hosting a maker camp for LGBTQ+ youths ages 10-17, from July 15-19. The day camp will be at the Logan Library from noon to 3 p.m. and is free of cost.
The camp is hosted in conjunction with the Culture, History, and Art Originating in STEM, or CHAOS, Learning Lab at Utah State University. Colby Tofel-Grehl is a researcher in this lab and said her team hopes the camp can serve as a proof of concept for future grant applications.
During the camp, youths will participate in activities such as using sewable circuits to create light-up clothing that reflects their personality.
“Especially with LGBTQ+ youth, giving them more options to kind of explore their various identities and the intersections of those identities is really important and really cool,” said Christa Cannell, the Pride Center board member facilitating the camp.
Cannell said it is important for youths to have fun experiences with science so that they can recognize it is everywhere around them. Cannell also hopes the experience will help queer youths feel loved and supported as they connect with their peers.
“I hope people stay open to it being an LGBTQ+ youth only event because they need spaces where they can be themselves and be around strictly their LGBTQ+ peers,” Cannell said.
Although the camp is free, registration is still necessary because attendance will be limited. Participants are asked to only sign up if they can attend the entire camp.