SciGirls survived the hike at Leon Sinks.
A real SciGirl has the willingness and courage to venture into the unknown. Thus we got an introduction to karst topography this morning with our visit to the Leon Sinks Geological Area. Karst is a landscape that happens through deep erosion of a soft rock such as limestone, and it leads to the most unusual visual treats as water flows into, out of, and through the Swiss-cheese holes that occur within karst (floridahikes.com/leon-sinks). Joined by Greg Hitz, Cindy Fischler, and Mitra Khadka, we trekked a little over two miles through the Apalachicola National Forest to conduct water testing at Hammock Sinks. Time flew so quickly that we didn’t get a chance to conduct water testing at Fischer Sink, but we were treated to the natural beauty found at Big Dismal Sink and Gopher Hole.
Dr. Amy McKenna reminded us that science is all about fun. Sharing a little bit of her journey into science, Dr. McKenna emphasized the importance of attentiveness as a student. Holding a degree in analytical chemistry, it was obvious that this petroleum chemist knows a little bit about how to keep the SciGirls about surfactants. With an activity that tested the solubility of milks, we tiptoed into the area of organic chemistry. We discussed the hydrophobic (oil-loving) and hydrophilic (water-loving) nature of various substances. Using food coloring, whole milk, heavy cream, skim milk, and Dawn dish soap, our afternoon was filled with colorful explosions of art. Today we were given permission to make a mess and make a mess we did - accompanied by many giggles, smiles, oohs, and aahs!
Nine days down… only one to go! But wait, the fun is not over. Come back tomorrow to check out our last day.