Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines hosted MarineQuest, a premiere day-long event showcasing the world of marine habitats across coastal Wilmington at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Center for Marine Science. The event served girls grades 2 through 12 and provided them with the hands-on experiences exploring science and careers alongside professional women in STEM fields. Girls explored topics such as marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology, physical oceanography, and marine technology.
Throughout the course of the day, girls participated in lab experiences, learned about the variety of careers in the marine biology field, examined sands, discovered how to get fresh water from sea water, explored the coastal forest, the intertidal rocky outcrop, and the salt march. Girls also attended workshops where they learned how marine scientists around the world utilize techniques to understand the impacts of pollution, climate change, and ocean acidification. They also learned about how millions of people around the world do not have access to clean water and then engaged in an experiment to turn sea water into drinkable freshwater. Finally, by learning the pros and cons of industrial desalination, girls were able to get close and personal with squid and octopus to compare external and internal antimony. These workshops and labs promoted inventiveness and creative thinking, and helped girls develop more skills through real world applications.
With events like MarineQuest girls have the opportunity to develop in-demand skills while also bridging existing gender gaps within these male-dominant career fields. Just ask local Girl Scout Sadhana Anantha, a Girl Scouts of the USA National Young Woman of Distinction, whose Girl Scout Gold Award project focused on making STEM fields more accessible to young girls. “The stigma of ‘I can’t do or understand this because I am too young’ was a mindset I wanted to dispel. I wanted to inspire young minds to take action and encourage them to begin to create their own footprint in the world.”
STEM programming remains a top priority for Girl Scouts as we continue to help build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
For more information about Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines and its STEM programs for girls, please visit www.nccoastalpines.org or call (800) 284-4475.