15 July 2008

Engineering firm donates $15,000 to science camp for girls

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — PBS&J will donate $15,000 to SciGirls, a two-week, hands-on camp run by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and WFSU-TV that inspires girls ages 10-16 to pursue careers in science.

"Helping young girls experience the amazing world of science, hands-on, benefits the future of all science disciplines," said Charles Redding III, senior vice president of PBS&J. "More importantly, the lives of the girls who participate in these camps will be enriched, and Tallahassee's major universities and exceptional community college offer the perfect opportunity for them to further their knowledge," said Redding.

SciGirls started in 2006 for rising 6th, 7th and 8th grade- girls, and was expanded in 2007 to include SciGirls II for returning campers and rising 9th and 10th graders. The Magnet Lab covers the costs of SciGirls I campers, but SciGirls II costs $300 per participant. PBS&J's donation, made through The PBS&J Foundation, will help defray or cover the registration costs for participants in SciGirls II and secure certified teachers to lead the camps.

"As early as eighth grade, there is a noticeable gap in the career aspirations of girls and boys," said Patricia Dixon, director of the Magnet Lab's Center for Integrating Research and Learning. "SciGirls provides an opportunity for young women to explore their natural interest in science in an environment that encourages curiosity and creativity. We're thankful to PBS&J for helping to make that happen."

This year's SciGirls camps take place July 14 to 25. Planned activities include: learning about aquatic ecosystems at St. Marks; learning about low-temperature science by visiting the Antarctic Core Lab at FSU and making ice cream using liquid nitrogen; digging up bones for a forensic anthropology exercise; making models of comets from dry ice and other ingredients; mapping the FSU Golf Course using GPS; and visiting Torreya State Park, Goose Creek Wildlife Preserve and the SeaCrest Wolf Preserve.