Lindsey Vonn has become the greatest female skier in history not just because of uncanny athletic ability and her intense desire to succeed. Rather, it is because she studies the science of the sport, understands the technology and embraces the engineering of the equipment and the courses, and studies the math of the run times and downhill angles. In other words, she has mastered the STEM of skiing.
So it comes as no surprise that she is ready to now share her love of science, technology, engineering, and math with others. To this end, her eponymous foundation is partnering with iD Tech Camps to send young girls to iD Tech's STEM programs this summer. Through the partnership, 20 girls ages 10-15 will receive scholarships from the Lindsey Vonn Foundation to participate in iD Tech's Alexa Café program.
iD Tech Camps is the number one provider of summer tech experiences in the world. Inspired by iD Tech co-founder Alexa Ingram-Cauchi, the company's innovative all-girls program, called Alexa Café, blends tech, entrepreneurship, and social impact in a fresh, café-like setting.
"Alexa Café's mission is perfectly aligned with what we strive to achieve at the Lindsey Vonn Foundation," said Ms. Vonn. "We're committed to engaging and inspiring girls to grow as learners, as athletes and as individuals. Which means that they need to be supported in a positive, comfortable, and constructive atmosphere. I know I could not have achieved all that I have, as a champion skier, as a female, and as a human being without such a foundation. I'm greatly impressed and encouraged by what I've learned about iD Tech and Alexa Café and their successful efforts in offering young girls a similar base on which to grow. Partnering with them makes perfect sense."
Joy Meserve, chief operating officer at iD Tech Camps, echoed these sentiments, noting that given that dearth of females in the STEM fields, "we have to encourage and inspire young girls at an early age to engage in immersive and fun STEM experiences, including attending summer tech camps. This is critically important because girls' interest in STEM peaks in middle school before dropping off due to lack of access and social factors."
Meserve added that girls who do have access to such programs are four times as likely to major in computer science in college. Given that females make up more than 50% of the U.S. population but only 12% of computer science undergraduates, "we know that these experiences can make an enormous difference. We are proud and honored that the Lindsey Vonn Foundation has selected iD Tech Camps and our Alexa Café initiative to help achieve our mutual goals."
Alexa Café will serve more than 13,000 girls this summer in courses that include game design, coding, artificial intelligence learning, and robotics. They do so under the tutelage of mentors and instructors from top tech companies and from such prominent universities as CalTech, Northwestern, Stanford and NYU. Those and other universities across the country serve as the hosts for both the week-long, day and overnight collaborative and innovative camp program. The Alexa Café program has proven highly successful. Since it was introduced in 2014, the number of females attending iD Tech Camps' has more than doubled, with girls now comprising over a quarter of all iD Tech students. The company is committed to achieving 50-50 gender parity among all its campers.
Applications for the Lindsey Vonn Foundation scholarships to iD Tech's Alexa Café program can be accessed beginning on January 15 on both the partners' websites, www.idtech.com and lindseyvonnfoundation.org. Recipients will be notified in March and April, with the camps beginning in late June and running through the entire summer.