Women of Science workshop gives girls "hands on" experience

Posted: Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Over 110 girls plus their adult companions gathered last week at Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) to meet local women working in science related fields and rotate through workshops that included hands-on activities. Terry Gryting and Joyce Cox of the Girl Scouts Susitna Council organized the event that was sponsored by BP, UAA, and KPC. "The idea was to introduce girls to women who are passionate about their jobs and are successfully working in science related fields. Additionally it was an opportunity for the girls to have a hands-on science experience in three different workshops," Gryting told the Dispatch.

Kathy East and Jodi Titus of the Challenger Learning Center showed girls how you can see things in the universe by looking through different filters. Hannah George from Ninilchik Family Dentistry held a workshop on dental care and the girls examined each others teeth while yet another group learned about air traffic control from Sally McCullen of the FAA. "Girl Scouts of the USA has a very strong emphasis on bringing science to girls through scouting and we are one of the leading resources for informal science education," explained Gryting. Jennifer McCard, Stephanie Kobylarz, Jan Yaeger and Rhonda Orth from the Kenai Watershed Forum had four hands-on activities at their workshop that included demonstrations of substances with different pH levels where the girls could test the differences of acidic or basic. The girls also learned the cohesive properties of water and actually got to build a salmon stream and play a game learning the life cycle of salmon.

The Girl Scouts Susitna Council organizes similar events in up to six Alaskan communities each year according to Gryting and this is the first year the event has been held at KPC, "We're ecstatic about the turn out here today," exclaimed Joyce Cox who lives in local area, "The girls get such a great opportunity to see first hand what women in science do and to be encouraged to pursue a career in science and technology, and we wouldn't have had this great turn out without our Girl Scout leaders and parents who volunteered to bring these girls here today and make these opportunities available for our girls. We appreciate KPC opening their doors to us and of course BP for sponsoring the event," added Cox. For more information about this event or about Girl Scouting, you can call Joyce Cox locally at 262-7616 or visit www.girlscoutsalaska.org or call 1-800-478-7448.

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