Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sci Girls I Day Nine

Sci Girls Rock and Hike and Grow!  Today we started with a journey through Leon Sinks to conduct a little bit of water testing with Mr. Greg Hitz (who happens to be a Sci Dad this year).  How fortunate we were this year that the mosquitoes were not active at all and we were able to enjoy the natural beauty of Fisher Creek and Big Dismal Sinks.  It was an amazing sight to see the water flowing into Fisher Creek and then stop when it reached the actual sink.  Our morning hike through Leon Sinks (not 'Leon Stinks', Grace) was a great way to enjoy nature in its purest form. From there, we trekked across the county line to our neighboring Gadsden County to meet with and interact with some 'Ladies of Science' who are definitely making their mark on agriculture at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Quincy.   Special thanks to Cheryl, Christine, Sheeja, and Fannie for presenting information on career paths in science and how often our choices will not always be exact.  This research facility is home to different studies and projects that range from sod based rotation to biochar analysis.  It is hard to believe, but Sci Girls I 2014 is almost over.   But wait - we still have one more day to uncover some fun!  Tune in tomorrow for our closing blog.  

SciGirls 2 2014: Day 9-Gulf Specimen Marine Lab

Today was a wet and exciting day! Today our girls went to the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, and had a great leader, Ms. Katie. Ms. Katie is finishing up her undergraduate degree in marine science at FSU (Go NOLES!), and was a great role-model lady of science today :) We started the day on the dock and collected many different species! For example, we collected sea walnuts, nudibranches, a teeny-tiny flounder, barnacles, sea squirts, and so many more. From the dock we moved onto the touch tanks and a few 'look' tanks. In the touch tanks we looked at many different species of crabs, star fish, sand dollars, mollusks, and sea urchins. In the 'looking' tanks, we looked at the poisonous lionfish, triggerfish, flounder, stingrays, sharks, goliath group, loggerhead turtles, blue crabs, and so much more! The girls especially liked 'finding Nemo' :) Next up, was looking and holding (!!!!) horseshoe crabs. All, yes you read that correctly, picked up a fully grown horseshoe crab. At this point in the day our girls needed more energy, so we took a lunch break to fuel up for seining. We girls seined, which involved walking out in the gulf with a large, long net to collect more specimens. The fan favorite specimen was a lizard fish, and even though technically we didn't collect, we just spotted it, was a shark!

Overall, today was a great day! We can't believe tomorrow is the last day of camp :( We can't wait to see everyone's families at the reception tomorrow night; 5:30 pm at WFSU, be there or be square!
SciGirls I went to WFSU and did Atkins projects.

SciGirls II stayed at the MagLab and built chaos towers and straw towers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sci Girls I Day Eight

Lights, Cameras, Action!  Today was our visit to WFSU.  We were greeted by Mr. Mike Dunn and Mrs. Kim Kelling-Engstrom who gave us a wonderful introduction to the history of public television.  We started with an introduction to the Kirk Collection which is a collection of nearly 300 antique radios, record players, and music boxes housed at the broadcast center.  The girls were then divided into groups to create radio spots and interviews to be broadcast on local radio and to air Friday night at the Thank You reception.  They also learned the inner workings and behind the scene happenings required to record/produce a television segment.  After calling it a wrap, we whisked back over to the MagLab to meet with Ashley Anderson & Sarah Caponigro and Audra Hayden & Christin Gorman, representatives of Atkins Engineering and EGS, Inc. respectively.  Cables and tension were the specialty topics for today as the girls first guessed how much sand could fishing wire, a thread, and a piece of yarn hold when poured into an empty gallon water container - more than one would think.  Then it was their turns.  The challenge was to create/design a cable (made from yarn, thread, or fishing wire) to hold as much sand as possible in a bucket.  The weights ranged from 23.8 lbs up to a few of the teams that maxed out at 50 lbs. Thanks for ThePianoGuys clip of "What Makes You Beautiful".  Only two days to go with a visit to the Sinks and IFAS.

SciGirls 2 2014: Day 8-Atkins and Chaos Towers

Today was all about engineering (the 'E' in STEM). The girls started the day with a visit from ATKINS; they got to speak with five different female engineers! Each engineer shared a little background information about their careers; one even helped out with the engineering on the tree-to-tree zipline course we did last Wednesday! After learning a bit about our guest speakers, our girls were challenged with an engineering task: building straw towers. The girls had to build straw towers with a limited amount of tape, paperclips, and straws. Their tower had to hold a can of ginger-ale for at least a minute. Most girls were successful at completing this task, and the ones that weren't were able to tell us what changes they would make to make their tower stable. The girls practiced a lot of different scientific skills; for example, testing, revision, team-work, and communication! The SciGirls teachers were very proud of the work our campers completed :) :)

After stopping to refuel our energy at lunch, the SciGirls teachers gave the girls a new challenge building chaos towers! The girls were given a brief introduction to the towers and the parameters in which they were judged, total marble race time, creativity, and teamwork. To add further incentive, besides bragging rights, were rice krispy cupcakes! The girls were working extremely hard in building these towers and impressed the SciGirls once again! We are proud to congratulate Annie, Porschia, and Emily as the first place winners!

Girls, get ready for another exciting day; we are going to the Florida Gulf Specimen Marine Lab tomorrow!!!!

SciGirls I Day 7 2014

SciGirls I went to the Tallahassee Police Department and to FCIM.

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