Over the past 106 years, Girl Scouts has encouraged girls to break down barriers and pursue interests in fields where women are often underrepresented with programming in the sciences, outdoors, and more. On Saturday, May 5th, Girl Scouts held the MarineQuest event at UNCW Center for Marine Science to help girls to unleash their inner innovator by exploring the marine habitats of the coast. Girl Scout Brownies (ages 7-9) from across North Carolina attended the event, where they participated in lab experiments and learned about sea life.
The Girl Scouts explored touch tanks at the center where they could see and feel live sea life and learn about where they live. Then they visited a dock in the salt marsh and experimented with the sand and water to see how water is naturally filtered and how it can be affected by hurricanes and pollution. Next, they returned to the classroom to learn about the blue crab. Each pair of girls had an actual crab to touch and move the parts as they were explained. They learned the different types of legs and their uses, how to tell the gender, all about the eyes and mouth. “MarineQuest was awesome. I learned how to hold a blue crab safely and how to tell if it is a female or male,” said Girl Scout Brownie Claire Hollowell.
For the next part of MarineQuest, they ventured out to Fort Fisher and practiced seine netting. The girls waded up to their waists, pulling nets as a group. They pulled fish and crabs from the nets that they later identified together. “My favorite part about MarineQuest was catching fish with a big net. First, we unfolded the net, then we got in the water and carefully brought it back to shore. We caught shrimp, fish, minnows, crabs. It was so fun!” said Girl Scout Willow Byer. These activities showed the girls the different types of organisms that call the North Carolina Coast home, and taught them about the organisms themselves and how they live.
Girl Scout programs like MarineQuest familiarize girls with the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), helping them to discover skills and passions that they did not know they had and making them more likely to further pursue opportunities in those fields. Girls can participate in awesome learning experiences like this and unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) by joining Girl Scouts today. Visit nccoastalpines.org to register or become a Girl Scout volunteer.