Science and fashion intersect at CSU summer program for middle-school girls

Middle-school girls sharpened their STEM skills this summer through the third annual offering of Fashion FUNdamentals at Colorado State University.

Fashion FUNdamentals is a STEM 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 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines and to foster their self-confidence and self-esteem. The program was offered at no cost to the girls thanks to funding by the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Program and private donors.

Technical and social programming

During the two-week program, the girls participated in a variety of classes and activities aimed at increasing 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.

The Department of Design and Merchandising is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

Fashion FUNdamentals