So many scientists today! We started bright and early with a Skype visit from Dr. Aavidai Swamy of FAMU and an in-person visit from her graduate students, Anjali Sharma and Deepa Raveendranpillai. Dr. Swamy shared her research on climate and environmental change and encourage our girls to think about how their interests can have a positive impact on the world. We then used playdough and banana leaves to model topography and hydrology, and saw 3D-printed models of agricultural fields and drainage ditches that can help curtail agricultural runoff.
Emma Martin of FSU Engineering and the MagLab came to visit and led us in an engineering challenge. Girls worked in teams to build towers out of tape and index cards working within budget and time constraints. After our challenge, Emma shared with us her experiences a woman in engineering and encouraged our girls to be confident and take risks.
After lunch we took a trip to FSU’s Biology Department and met with Dr. Hank Bass, Juan Reza, and Katherine Easterling. Juan shared with us his research on plant growth and reminded us how exciting science (of any kind) can be. Dr. Bass taught us about Zea mays and mutant corn and gave us each a copy of his book Crazy Lazy Corn. Afterwards we drove out to Dr. Bass’ research fields and greenhouses and we learned how to make crosses and how to pollinate ears of corn. Some of us left with popcorn souvenirs!
We returned to the MagLab with our heads full of ideas and excitement!