Preparing Girls for a Future in STEM
Eureka! is a five-year college and career prep program that builds girls’ STEM confidence and introduces them to potential STEM careers. Girls begin as rising 8th graders and remain with their cohort of girls throughout the five-year program. They build lasting friendships and social capital along with STEM curiosity and knowledge, as they graduate the program ready for college or other post-secondary training.

 For more information about applying for the Eureka! program contact:

To learn more about each year of Eureka!, read here…

The Rookies
In June, newly graduated 7th grade girls or “Rookies” are brought onto the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) campus for an intensive month-long summer program. For four weeks, the Rookies participate in a variety of exciting and compelling activities that explore the cutting-edge world of STEM – nanosciences, robotics, DNA research, forensics – through hands-on experiences in a college campus environment.


In addition to the STEM camp, Rookies are involved in daily fitness and personal well-being activities. Several times each week, Rookies swim in UNO’s indoor pool. Swimming lessons are provided for girls who do not know how to swim. With complementary activities in sports and physical fitness, healthy living, and financial literacy, Eureka! fully fosters educational, professional, and personal development.
The Vets
Year Two of Eureka! brings the girls back to UNO for a month-long camp, where they are exposed to increasingly challenging and stimulating STEM-based experiments. While the second year “Vets” are on campus at the same time as the Rookies, they are in different classrooms. Daily personal development speakers expose the girls to a wide variety of careers, with an emphasis on the STEM field. As with the first year at camp, girls are engaged 50% of the time with hands on science learning, 25% of the time with personal development activities, and 25% of the time with physical activity.


Beginning in year two and continuing through Year Five, all Eurekans are required to volunteer for a minimum of 10 hours per year. Consistent volunteering not only teaches the girls compassion, but it also gives them opportunities to feel connected to their community, thus building their self-confidence and self-esteem. Eureka! provides a variety of volunteering opportunities throughout the school year. Girls who are already involved in volunteer work can count their hours towards this requirement.
Extern 1’s
During the summer, “Extern 1’s” are provided with the opportunity to explore careers at businesses and organizations within the Omaha area. The goal of this summer externship is to provide hands-on exposure to the many STEM careers that exist. For 16 hours per week, the Extern 1’s work under the direct supervision of a workplace mentor. On Fridays, girls return to the Girls Inc. campus for several hours of reflection and discussion. After completing four weeks of work, they are receive a $500 stipend.


The Girls Inc. Eureka! Summer Externship Program allows each girl opportunities to gain valuable life skills as she is interviewed for her externship, and then placed in a field where she shows interest. Prior to beginning their onsite externship, each Extern 1 is required to take Success Prep, a Girls Inc. professionalism teaches skills that prepare them for the workplace. Since Eureka! has a strong STEM focus, many in our program ask to extern in the fields of medicine, engineering, and technology. Girls are placed in areas they are considering for a future career. The majority of externs will be first-generation college students from single-parent or nontraditional homes. In addition to life skills, externships provide our girls with a competitive edge when they apply to colleges.
Extern 2’s

Year Four of Eureka! offers the “Extern 2” another chance to explore career interests via a 4-week paid externship. By the end of their second externship, Extern 2’s will have a better understanding of available careers in their areas of interest as well as the educational requirements of those careers. Some girls choose to repeat their extern placement and some girls discover that their real-world experience was not what they thought it would be and ask for a different field entirely. One veterinarian hopeful, for example, could not stomach the site of blood and spent the summer comforting dogs coming out of anesthesia. The second summer, she chose Lauritzen Gardens instead.

During the school year, Extern 2’s begin going on college campus tours – learning about the educational options that are available to them after high school. A variety of different schools are toured: four-year universities, two-year trade schools, certificate programs, and professional programs.

Most colleges require that each applicant takes the ACT test. Eureka! offers a set of comprehensive ACT classes during the fall of the Extern 2’s junior year of high school. Additionally, Extern 2’s are given the opportunity to attend multiple workshops throughout the year that focus on topics such as: creating a resume, preparing for your senior year, and applying for summer enrichment programs the summer before senior year.

Senior Year

Year Five of Eureka! begins the summer before girls enter their senior year of high school. Seniors are encouraged to participate in the summer enrichment programs offered by colleges, both local and out-of-state, inviting them to live on campus for up to a month during the summer and take college classes for free. There are GPA requirements for these programs, so it is important that girls mind their grades throughout high school. Girls who do not meet the GPA requirement for the summer programs are offered the opportunity to work at Girls Inc. during the summer, through the Success Prep Program.

During the school year, each Senior is assigned a female mentor that will help them to search and apply for scholarships and colleges. A major goal of Eureka! is that each girl is able to fund her higher education through scholarships and grants, instead of through loans. Throughout the school year, Seniors have the opportunity to continue touring college campuses, including one overnight trip to an out-of-state college.

During the School Year
As Eureka! continues throughout each school year, cohorts of up to 30 girls stay together through the course of the program, sharing hands-on, minds-on, opportunities for guided exploration, skills, and knowledge building. Bi-monthly, girls are offered the opportunity to attend exciting field trips around the Omaha area that offer opportunities for additional STEM learning as well as fun and recreation to build strength in the friendships created over the summer months.

Past field trips have included:

  • Seeing a Broadway play & meeting the cast
  • Overnight sleepover in the Omaha Zoo Aquarium
  • Visiting a lamb farm (during lambing season)
  • Glass bead making at HotShops
  • Snowshoeing
  • Viewing the Sandhill Crane migration in Wood River, Nebraska
  • Visiting a goat farm & creamery
  • Visiting a lavender farm to learn about the farm and the business aspect of farming
  • Tagging monarch butterflies
  • A self-care PJ’s night in at Girls Inc.
  • University of Nebraska Omaha Biomedical Department
  • University of Nebraska Lincoln Materials and Nanoscience Department
  • El Museo Latino
  • Clarkson College of Nursing
  • Prairie STEM for a drone workshop