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!

SciGirls I 2018 Day 2SciGirls I camp visits Diverse Computing

Today’s adventures began at Tall Timbers Research Station as we used radio telemetry to track “quail” and learned more about the biodiversity hotspot with over 1,500 native species. Our knowledge of dendrochronology (how trees age) was expanded as we learned the effects of controlled burns on an ecosystem. Sadly, we also learned that the Southeast region used to boast over 93 million acres of pines and has dwindled to approximately 3 million acres of pines. Although we were unable to call in a bird to the mist net (used to catch and release birds for research purposes) we were excited to enjoy air-conditioned encounters with native critters. We met Otis the screech owl, an Eastern king snake, a gopher tortoise, tiger salamander and hognose snake. Thank you to Kim, Kaylyn, Dianna, Brad and Nathan for creating a memorable experience for us! From Tall Timbers, we embarked to the complete opposite side of town to get in touch with our techy sides! At Divers Computing, we used Wonder Workshop, along with the Blockley app and Darn&Dot robots to reach for the stars. Stars of constellations that is! Our group became two groups competing in challenge to program robots to accurately depict various constellations. SciGirls worked cooperatively on problem solving and both teams experienced success! Thank you so much to Desiree and team for hosting us in the midst of a crazy busy time! Stay tuned tomorrow as we get topsy turvy and go coastal!

Scigirls2 2018 visits FSU's Innovation HubScigirls2 2018 visits FSU's Innovation Hub

Today was an amazing SciGirls 2 day! We spent our day on the beautiful FSU campus and visited both the Herbarium and the Innovation Hub. We started our day at the Herbarium, with role model, Katie Pearson, MS in ecology and evolution. She’s been working at the Herbarium for 3 years, and has been the curator for 2 years. The Herbarium is basically an organized library of dried plants over hundreds of years old. The Herbarium is home to over 226, 000 specimens. Since opening in the 1960’s, it specializes with plants from Florida and southeastern U.S. Our girls were able to see how plant specimens are taken from the field, pressed, and then dried for 24 hours. After the plants are dried, they are glued, labeled and set aside for digitalization. After the Herbarium, we walked to the Innovation Hub, led by Castle Hill, Doctoral student. We started with a presentation about the history of 3D printing and the different types of 3D printers and their uses. 3D printing was actually patented by Chuck Hull, in 1984, when he printed an eye cup for an eye doctor. 3D printing is now used almost everywhere including with fashion. Fun fact…the queen’s costume in the movie, Black Panther, is mostly 3D printed! We then went to the computer lab, and using, we each created a 3D digital maker coin that Castle will 3D print and bring to us! We also get the opportunity to draw scientific illustrations that Castle will laser print on wooden coasters, keychains, or baggage tags as mementos! We ended the day with a tour of the entire Innovation Hub space, including the use of graphic computers, virtual reality headsets, sketching pads, ping pong, and all of the different types of 3D printers, some of which were in the middle of printing! We are so thankful to both Katie and Castle for our amazing diverse day of botany and STEAM exploration!

Scigirls1 2018 groupScigirls1 2018 group

SciGirls I 2018 has officially kicked off! We toured the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and enjoyed lunch with our annual Ladies of Science Luncheon. We are very grateful to these ladies for giving their time and sharing wonderful words of wisdom with us: Dr. Renee Gordon, Stem Program Director at TCC; Dr. Christianne Beekman, MagLab Assistant Professor working in condensed matter physics; Roxanne Simpson, Program Director for FSU SSS-STEM; Dr. Adrienne Stephenson, Assistant Director of FSU grad school; Dr. Julia Smith, physicist at the MagLab; and Dr. Patricia Novey of Novey Animal Hospital.

These nuggets of wisdom were shared with us during today’s luncheon: After being the only female in her classes, Dr. Gordon suggested you find something in common with classmates to find a way to join in conversations and work together. Dr. Smith started out as one of five ladies in a class of 100. By graduation, there were five ladies out of twenty students remaining! She made it a point to be part of the larger group, not just a member of the female group. Dr. Novey was excited to be a member of her class with 51% women. Although she was treated inappropriately during interviews, Dr. Novey focused on working in places where she was respected. Dr. Stephenson emphasized that being a diverse member of a group is not a bad thing. She reminded us that your differences make you unique and enhance the environment you’re in. Ms. Simpson told us she had to overcome the expectation that she should not work as hard as male counterparts in her career. She told us to remember, “Your goals are your goals, for your reasons.” Dr. Beekman encouraged us with her advice, “If you know what you want to do, just go for it!”

Although our afternoon plans for Water Moves were altered due to inclement weather, we had a blast getting to know each other with some fun games. We’re excited to trek to Tall Timbers and Diverse Computing tomorrow!

Scigirls2 2018 geocache.jpgSciGirls 2 Rocked Innovation Park!

What a day!! Today kicked off another summer of SciGirls 2 camp! The day started off with camp logistics, including MagLab safety and security, getting badges, and research surveys. Once all the “business” was taken care of, the real fun started!! We started with a MagLab tour, led by Dr. Afi Sachi-Kocher, a geochemist here at the lab. She walked us around the lab, showing us how the magnets are made and where they are housed. We passed by multiple “machine shops” and areas of scientists working. We, of course, went to visit the most powerful magnet in the world, the 45 tesla, housed right here in the lab! Then, Dr. Afi took us to the geochemistry area and she walked us all around. Geochemistry involves both geology and chemistry. Geochemists analyze rain water, lakes, even meteorites in both solid form and liquid form, among many other “rocky” things! After our tour, we enjoyed a luncheon with 6 female scientists from around Tallahassee. Each scientist spoke about their field of science, how they got there, and challenges along the way. Then the scientist joined groups of scigirls campers to eat lunch, where they continued their scientific conversation. Special thanks to Dr. Renee Gordon, Stem Program Director at TCC, Dr. Christianne Beekman, MagLab Asst. Professor, Dondensed Matter Physics, Roxanne Simpson, Program Director for FSU SSS-STEM, Dr. Adrienne Stephenson, Asst. Director of FSU grad school, Dr. Patricia Novey, veterinarian, and Dr. Julia Smith, a MagLab physicist, for joining us for the discussion panel and science lunchtime conversations! We ended the day with a geojourney! Our girls used GPS devices to track along a trail, leading them to wFSU, where they found a treasure box full of rocks to paint, and painting materials. We then spent a bit of time decorating those rocks, and then hid them on our journey back to the MagLab. Tomorrow brings a day of fun, and a brand new SciGirls experience for this year, as we take on FSU’s Innovation hub, Herbarium, and learn all about 3D printing!!

Veteran educator recognized for inspiring kids about science outside the classroom.

The MagLab reached over 10,000 K-12 students in 2017, providing high-quality science outreach to our local community.

The MagLab is training the next generation of science mentors.

Undergrad streamlines maintenance routine with touch-screen technology

SciGirls2 2017 Day 10

SciGirls II on our last day of camp. So sad to see it end!

Another spectacular SciGirls Summer is coming to an end. It's been an amazing two weeks, as our girls have worked together and bonded, learning more about STEM fields, and about themselves.

Today, our girls thought about their futures. Each girl was given an opportunity to research a possible career path, including their education along the way, from challenges in high school to the amount of schooling needed, and eye opening reality check concerning tuition! After researching, girls created displays of their findings that will be showcased at tonight's reception.

No SciGirls day is complete without some hands-on science! Today, we had a visit from Southeast Archeological Center - National Park Service. Thanks to Dr. Katie Miyar, Dr. Hillary Conley, Megan Merrick, Brittney Shields, Megan Williamson, Edith Gregory, Paige Hawthorne, and Heather Young for showing our girls all that goes into archeology. Archeology is the study of ancient people and the things they left behind. Archeologists study artifacts from long ago to learn more about the past. 

Our girls were given a scenario in which an archeological site at the MagLab had been looted. The girls had to visit the site and document the damage, record the size of the illegal digging, recover artifacts in the distrubed area using scientific methods, and then work in the lab to analyze the artifacts and the confiscated human remains, and interpret the findings for a report. 

Tonight, we look forward to our annual SciGirls Reception! First we will hear from former SciGirl campers, Stephanie Reynolds, Janessa Sullivan, and Mei Maddox. These women have continued their love for science and will share with the audience their journeys since scigirls in the STEM fields. In addition, our girls are extremely anxious to get to view the news broadcasts they recorded at wFSU on Day 8. It will prove to be an amazing, but bittersweet night, as we say goodbye to another group of fabulous campers.

As for now, this is Brynn Wallace and Kelly Pagan signing out! We'll see you next summer! SciGirls ROCKS!

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