A team of our female engineers recently helped lead the very first virtual “Explore the B.E.S.T. You” summer STEM camp for girls.

The week-long camp was held via the web-conferencing app, Zoom, and was open to girls aged 10-14. Each day brought new online activities for the campers to participate in and was sponsored by Mississippi Power and community partners Chemours, Ingalls Shipbuilding and the Jackson County FABLAB.

“We appreciate the continued partnership with Mississippi Power to ensure the success of this camp,” said Explore the B.E.S.T. You Camp Director and Hancock Whitney Assistant Vice President Sonya Bowers Ashley. “We had to get a little creative this year, but I’m pleased we were still able to provide an educational opportunity for these campers.”

Mississippi Power hosted the second day of the online camp where company engineers focused on teaching the girls coding. The campers were split into virtual small groups with an engineer and tasked with designing a computer game.

“As a female in this field I think it’s really important for me to reach out to young girls and get them excited about career opportunities in STEM,” said Biloxi Engineer Yaneira Lara. “Although we couldn’t be together in person, this was still a fun way to interact and teach them a new skill.”

Virtual campers also learned about robotics, industrial design and opportunities in the medical field.

“I was happy to participate and spend time with the girls,” said Gulfport Engineer Kaitlin Bennett. “As a recent graduate, I know the importance of having mentors in the field, so I enjoyed being able to talk with them and answer their questions.”

As virtual learning continues to become the new normal, the company will continue to adapt to serve our community.

“We were happy to join in on this opportunity to keep students connected during the summer,” said Community Representative Ann Holland. “This was a unique way for our engineers to stay engaged with students and promote STEM.”

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 188,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. With nearly 160 megawatts of approved solar energy capacity, Mississippi Power is the largest partner in providing renewable energy in the state of Mississippi. Visit our websites at mississippipower.com and mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.