Exploring Careers in Science
Summer camp isn’t just hanging out by the lake anymore. For sixteen Tallahassee-area girls, summer camp included using physics to determine the speed of a bowling ball and touring the watershed of Florida’s Apalachicola River.
The girls were part of SciGirls, a two-week summer camp for middle-school girls hosted by WFSU in partnership with the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science, the Florida State University High Magnetic Field Laboratory, and the FSU Saturday at the Sea program.
“We had tremendous partners,” gushed Kim Kelling Engstrom, Director of Educational Services at WFSU in Tallahassee. “FSU literally opened their doors to these girls. They used a chemistry lab and other university facilities. It was an amazing experience.”
The partnership and the camp aimed to address concerns about statistics showing few girls entering careers in science. Along with hands-on science experience, the camp connected the girls to women actually working in various science fields at the university and the museum.
“It’s important for families and girls to see real role models – women who are really doing careers in science,” said Kelling Engstrom.
Two certified teachers used clips from the public television program DragonFlyTV to see models for teaching and making science come alive for kids. It was an enriching experience for the teachers, too.
“Leading SciGirl’s camp rejuvenated my teaching spirit,” explained Julie Sear, one of the teachers. “I was able to look toward the new school year with confidence, enthusiasm, and new ideas. My teaching spirit is back and I’m having a blast in the classroom.”
Parents were thrilled and commented that SciGirls camp offered a quality educational experience during summer when there was little else like that available.
“WFSU is very good to take the initiative to sponsor such a wonderful program,” said one parent. “We found out what a great resource for our community it [WFSU] is.”