Last week, 62 Girl Scout Cadettes and Seniors (grades 6-10) explored scientific topics in new and engaging ways at Summer Science Camp. The camp took place at Meredith College and was made possible in part by Google Fiber and Stewart. Throughout the week, girls participated in seminars, completed hands-on experiments, and embarked on field trips to places around Raleigh to help ignite their interest and passion in the vast and exciting world of science.
Meredith College faculty and students guided the girls through activities that taught them about binary coding, DNA extraction and analysis, electrical engineering, and more. Some favorite activities were extracting DNA from strawberries and making their own yogurt and ice cream after exploring the science behind their production. The girls also built flying drones, created circuits, and built and launched two different kinds of rockets in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch.
The Girl Scouts enjoyed excursions throughout the week to places like the JC Raulston Arboretum where they learned about horticulture and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences where they observed scientific demonstrations from staff and attended a viewing of the 3-D film “Backyard Wilderness” about the complexity and connectedness of wildlife surrounding the spaces humans live in. At the end of the week, they took a tour of the Stewart offices in the new mixed-use building in downtown Raleigh’s rapidly expanding, vibrant Warehouse District. Team members from Steward engaged the girls in learning about the different facets of planning, design and engineering that make up Stewart’s practice areas. They also had the opportunity to do troubleshooting under the guidance of Stewart engineers capped off by an exciting drone flight demo.
“Encouraging girls’ interest and sense of discovery in STEM is an investment in the future, as these job numbers are expected to continue to grow,” said Walda Powell, Professor of Chemistry, Physics, and Geoscience and Department Head at Meredith College. “As a faculty member, it's exciting to engage girls in real-world, hands-on STEM activities and see their enthusiasm.”
Girl Scout Summer Science Camp helps girls discover, create, and solve in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) while encouraging girls to bridge the existing gender gap within these male-dominant career fields. Summer Science Camp provides a week of girl-led experiences while emphasizing the importance of leadership programming designed to promote confidence and skills across science fields.