18 July 2018

SciGirls II 2018 - Day 3

SciGirls 2 and members of the TMH Animal Therapy staffSciGirls 2 and members of the TMH Animal Therapy staff

Day 3 was filled with so much fun, interactive, educational SCIENCE! From therapy animals to chemistry, we visited 4 different disciplines of science today! Our day started this morning with a visit from the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Animal Therapy group! Thank you to Heather Gainey, with dog, Brody, Stephanie Perkins, with dog, Starla, Natalie Jones, Sydney Hanselman (program coordinator), with dog, Lucke, Patty Mitchell, with dog, Sharon, Sharyn Yesner, with cockatoo, Rockie, and Annet Forkink, with dog, Benji, all for coming to the lab today. We started the morning with a brief overview of the therapy program. From helping struggling readers to criminal court cases and visits to the hospital, these animals help people in need feel better! Therapy animals help us to be less anxious, calmer, lowers blood pressure, increases oxytocin levels (the feel good hormone), and decreases cortisol (the stress hormone.) After learning about each pet and how they got into the therapy program, our scigirls enjoyed plenty of time to play and cuddle with each animal! From there, we dived into Astrophysics!! We had the opportunity to Skype with Jess Shanahan, who got an MS in astrophysics, and is currently working on her research on massive black holes. As we ate lunch, we had a question and answer session with Jess all about her research, how she got where she is today, and challenges along the way. We learned about black holes, how a lot of it is still a mystery, and she gave our girls some advice for the future in their science endeavors. Then, we moved into electricity and magnetism, with electrical engineering doctoral candidate and research assistant, Kikelomo Ijagbemi! Kike gave us a short presentation on magnets and the magnets housed here at the lab. We then got a hands on opportunity to build and investigate with electromagnets! Lastly, chemist, Amy McKenna visited us. She also discussed her journey in science and challenges she experienced along her way of receiving a doctoral degree in applied chemistry. She emphasized the fact that she struggled with math in school, and had to persevere and find her own way of learning that would work for her, encouraging our girls to never give up! Our girls were given an “oil spill” and were challenged to clean up their “ocean” with the least amount of supplies/cost. We even had time to dissolve M&M’s in different liquids learning about molecular characteristics. Whew! Today was action packed! Tomorrow, we visit an animal hospital, and see how K9 search and rescue dogs do their jobs!

Last modified on 19 July 2018