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'Eureka!' summer program teaches teen girls about careers in STEM, construction

Participants in the "Eureka!" summer program are teenage girls who have an interest in STEM.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Teenage girls are the future of construction in Huntsville.

Girls Inc. and the North Alabama Homebuilding Academy partnered together to give 8th-grade girls hands-on construction training through the "Eureka!" summer program. Participants in the program are teenage girls who have an interest in STEM.

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"It's been incredible watching these girls learn a new skill and fall in love with a new industry that they never thought imaginable for them," said North Alabama Homebuilding Academy Career Counselor Jill Oxley. 

The young ladies used power tools to build birdhouses and benches.
Camp leaders and adults were present to supervise and give assistance when needed, but for the most part, they were on their own.

"We had an instruction manual and we had our wood. That's really it. But we had to put it together ourselves," said Eureka! participant Indiya Jackson. 

Through these challenges, the girls were able to come together and build several sturdy benches that will be placed throughout the city.

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"At some times it was challenging, said Jackson. "Like, when we drilled wrong, we would have to un-drill and then drill it again, but most times it was very easy."

Girls Inc. has served the Huntsville community for more than 40 years. The organization works to inspire girls by hosting in-school and after-school programming. They hope to help the young girls in Madison County push past any gender, economic or social barriers standing in their way.

“I feel like being in this program really helped me a lot because I don’t like getting dirty. I don’t like doing this type of stuff," said participant Deja Parker. "But being in this program around other construction workers and being around other people my age that like to do it helped me."

To get involved with Girls Inc., you can visit their Facebook page. If you’re interested in learning more about the residential construction industry visit the North Alabama Homebuilding Academy’s website.