Overnight experience explores the fun side of science, technology, engineering and math
Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX), in partnership with Irving-based Fluor Corporation, an engineering and construction company, recently hosted more than 60 Girl Scouts at College Journey, part of its summer STEM series that gives young girls an opportunity to explore interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, while getting a taste of college life.
Studies show a lack of qualified candidates to fill much-needed jobs in STEM fields. GSNETX is working to lessen that shortage by partnering with companies, such as Fluor, to offer fun and exciting STEM-related programming, giving a day-in-the-life peek into a STEM career.
“Fluor is pleased to help make it possible for girls to explore creativity, innovation and problem solving through Girl Scouts’ College Journey program,” said Torrence Robinson, Fluor’s Senior Director of Community Affairs and President of the Fluor Foundation. “We’re committed to helping girls get excited about the opportunities that a career in STEM has to offer.”
At the overnight camp, girls had the opportunity to participate in hands-on biology, chemistry and engineering workshops. The Girl Scouts started their College Journey experience at Camp Whispering Cedars, a 96-acre camp located 20 minutes south of downtown Dallas, and were bused to Mountain View Community College, near the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, where they partnered with college professors and students to conduct the following experiments:
- Extract DNA from strawberries
- Convert the energy of ice cream
- Design and build a structure that can withstand an earthquake
- Gather and test water samples for acidity levels
- Create, manufacture and market lip balm
- Build and program robots using Vex Robotic Kits
“Girl Scouts is the largest pipeline for female leadership in North Texas, and we want to ensure that pipeline feeds the ever-growing STEM fields,” said Jennifer Bartkowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas.
Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’ commitment to investing in STEM programming extends to transforming Camp Whispering Cedars into a STEM Center of Excellence, a “living laboratory” for girls to connect to science, technology, engineering and math. While more than 2,200 girls and adults will continue to use Camp Whispering Cedars, groundbreaking on this project is slated for fall 2014 with the first building opening in spring of 2015.
For more information, visit www.gsnetx.org.