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Girl Scouts take on science

Posted: March 23, 2014 - 9:42pm
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Claudia Martinex works on her hand made putty, Saturday, March 22, at WSTD in Soldotna.
Claudia Martinex works on her hand made putty, Saturday, March 22, at WSTD in Soldotna.

A handful of Girl Scouts of Alaska stood scooping mouthfuls of handmade ice cream in plastic bags in what would have been a presumably empty classroom on a Saturday afternoon at Kenai Peninsula College.

Vigorously shaking bags of ice, dairy and flavorings was only one of the many activities Girl Scouts from all over the Kenai Peninsula took park in at the Girl Scouts Women of Science and Technology Day. Cayce Warner said making ice cream was her favorite lesson of the day.

Making ice cream in a sandwich bag with such basic ingredients was a different approach than she was used to seeing, Warner said.

“It definitely tasted delicious,” she said.

At the anti-tobacco seminar Warner also learned how cigarette companies market their products to visually appeal to children. She said now she knows how to read the warning labels on products that may contain tobacco and will avoid the drug in the future.

Leah Eskelin, Park Ranger at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, emphasized the importance of shaping activities during her lesson so girls can grasp the information they are presented with. Eskelin taught information on wildlife for her second year in a row at the event. The final segment of her presentation included identifying scat and tracks based on riddles she gave the group.

“I love this program,” Eskelin said. “It is the whole purpose of our outreach program.”

Even before Eskelin finished giving clues girls had their hands up, their ecstatic energy winning over their urge to be polite and composed.

Being a member of the Girl Scouts organization creates an atmosphere of camaraderie and shared experiences among the troops, she said.

After bending over a pile of tiny wires, mini battery and toothbrush, Bailey Smith strapped a pair of googley eyes to her pocket-sized, vibrating robot.

“It’s cool to learn you can take a lot of things and make something cool,” Smith said. After one of the eyes fell off she decided to title it a pirate robot.

Troop leader Cat Bras taught “Brushbot” building at the science event while her daughter ran in and out, excitedly showing off her mobile ice cream bag.

“Things like this you can’t throw away,” Bras said going through the various crafts of her daughters she had kept over the years.

Roslyn Lack, member services and program specialist for Girl Scouts of Alaska, said finding a variety of female community members involved in the sciences is an integral part of the event. Lack is in her second year coordinating the science and technology day.

The hope is to show Girl Scouts education can be fun and cultivate an interest in the sciences, Lack said. For attending the event, the girls also received a year’s free membership to the Girl Scouts.

For Kindergartner Azilyn Hall, it was her first day as a Girl Scout. Her father Danny Hall said she was a little scared, but was getting interested in connecting working circuits.

Many of the girls already know each other and Girl Scouts is a safe place they can come to learn and not be afraid of getting something wrong, Eskelin said.

“They’re already excited and open minded,” Eskelin said. “I am excited as an educator to have the girls here so interested.”

Kelly Sullivan can be reached at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

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