OGDEN -- Twenty teenage girls made sparks fly this week at Weber State University.
The girls spent three days learning the very manly trade of welding.
That's not all. They also got hands-on experience in graphic design and manufacturing, and electronics engineering.
The Summer Welding and Electronic Engineering Technology camp, or SWEET, gives girls the opportunity to learn about non-traditional, high-paying careers, said Mark Baugh, associate professor of welding at WSU.
"A lot of times girls don't look to explore these fields, but we want them to know they can have a very fun career," Baugh said. "It's been neat for them to see the different things they can do. A lot of times girls make better welders because they spend more attention on things."
This is the first camp for the girls, Baugh said, but definitely not the last.
"We received funding from the National Science Foundation and it's been so successful that we're going to continue to hold the camp in the future," he said.
Rainie Ingram, Student Recruitment and STEP Director of WSU's College of Applied Science and Technology, said the camp is held for girls in 9th to 12th grade.
"We've had a lot of fun with the girls this week. They've been getting a lot of hands-on experience and it's been exciting to see what they've accomplished," Ingram said. "They made a piece of welded artwork from scratch and now they're putting fiber-optic lights on the back so it will light up. It's beautiful."
Karlee Baugh, 15, said making the artwork was easy.
"We had to grind the metal and then weld it. It's a big job and something you don't think you can do, but the way they did it made it really easy," she said. "I thought it would be a good experience for me to come and learn more about it because both of my older brothers are welders."
Elise Martin, 15, said she would like to be an engineer one day. The camp opened her eyes to many different options.
"I've learned about lasers, welding, circuits," she said. "It's been a great experience. The art project has butterflies and flowers and lights up. We added extra chemicals so more colors would show up, like purples and blues. It's really cool."
The girls also got to tour Barnes Aerospace.
"I think they were surprised at how clean it was," Baugh said. "Welding gets a black eye because people generally think it's a dirty job."
Before they returned home, the girls went rock-climbing, bowling and had an ice cream party.
"I really think it's been fun," Elise said. "I'm interested in the field of engineering for sure and now I know more about what's available to me."