This June, 30 middle-school girls participated in the second annual offering of Fashion FUNdamentals at Colorado State University. Fashion FUNdamentals is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) enrichment program in the Department of Design and Merchandising founded on the premise that girls’ interest in fashion can be tapped to nurture their skills in the STEM disciplines and to foster their self-confidence and self-esteem.
During the two-week program, the girls participated in a variety of classes and activities that aimed to increase their understanding in the topics of fashion, science, technology, engineering and math. The camp consisted of technical and social programming units. The technical programming units focused on the STEM disciplines and included units on fiber science, historic textiles, computer-aided design, store design, 3D foot scanning, wearable technology, sewing, and costing and pricing.
The girls spent time at the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, where they learned about the history of textiles and how to best take care of garments so that they don’t deteriorate over time.
The social programming units aimed to positively influence self-confidence, self-esteem and academic performance by addressing topics of concern among adolescent girls. The units were delivered by project team members and invited professionals, and included body image and media literacy, nutrition, physical activity, anti-bullying and internet safety.