Latonya Binford, Accountant
By Nadra Binford and Latonya Binford
I am a part of the 2018 Cohort of the Engineering Society of Detroit’s Girls in Engineering Academy (GEA), which means I started the summer before I entered sixth grade. This summer, my classes were English Language Arts (ELA), Math, Chemistry and Electrical Engineering. In ELA we focused on grammar and presentations. ELA was great because our instructor had fun slideshows and videos and allowed us to express a positive and negative thought each day. In Math we learned about the addition, subtraction, and multiplication of vector coordinates and basic area calculation. We covered the PH scale, density, mass, and the periodic table in Chemistry. For Electrical Engineering, we were each provided an Electricity Essential Set to study electrical currents, measure battery voltage, and create electrical circuits. Overall, my experience was still fun, under the circumstances. I still got to see my friends and instructors even if it was on Zoom. GEA has taught me things I have not yet been taught and will use in future classes in high school. Usually staying on a college campus during the summer is the highlight of my year, but I am still happy to have participated in GEA this summer!
The Engineering Society of Detroit’s Girls in Engineering Academy (GEA) program is a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)/pre-engineering initiative that impacts underrepresented minority middle school girls from Detroit. GEA is preparing and educating the next generation of African American and Hispanic engineers and scientists. GEA has over 90 middle- and high-school girls in a year-round program that begins each summer with four weeks of intensive coursework in subjects such as algebra, computer science, engineering/physics, and English/language arts, and a 16-week academic year component October through May (two Saturdays a month) of the following year that provides supplemental instruction to the summer program. Generally, the second and third years of GEA are a residential program, with the girls living and taking classes on a college campus. Classes are being held online this year due to the global pandemic. All GEA courses are taught by female engineering/STEM undergraduate and graduate college students.
Nadra Binford is the daughter of NextEnergy’s Accountant, Latonya Binford. For more information about the Girls in Engineering Academy, contact Dr. Gerald Thompkins, Program Manager and Director, or visit www.esd.org/programs/gea/.