Monday, February 16, 2015

Cosmic Cuisine and Galaxy Grub

On Friday, February 13, it was a night of experimenting and exploring for over 800 Girl Scouts who attended a special Girl Scout-only event at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton. The event was organized by Girl Scout volunteers in Community One, a membership area of Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast that encompasses the cities on the Peninsula.

Girl Scout Brownies Maddie and Alison discovering
the power of the Tesla coil
Throughout the evening, girls had the opportunity to explore the museum exhibits at the Virginia Air and Space Center, as well as participate in special Girl Scout activities. They took part in extracting DNA from strawberries and bananas, taste tested space ice cream and built marshmallow catapults. They also earned about electricity as they harnessed the power of a Tesla coil and made their hair stand on end by placing a hand on a Van de Graaff generator. Older Girl Scouts also learned about engineering as they constructed a shock absorbing system using Styrofoam cups, cotton balls and other household items to protect two “astronauts,” or marshmallows, as they dropped them two stories down over the stair railing.

Girl Scout Cadettes Sara and Covanna in the cockpit of a
DC-9 aircraft on display at the Virginia Air and Space Center
During the event, Girl Scouts were transported deep into space as they watched the giant-screen documentary adventure, Hidden Universe, in the IMAX theatre at the Virginia Air and Space Center. They also learned about a day in the life of an astronaut.

This event was a fun and informal way to give girls the opportunity to explore and discover in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields in the supportive, all-girl environment of Girl Scouts, where girls feel more comfortable asking questions and trying new things. In today’s world, where women hold only about 25 percent of STEM careers, Girl Scouts is working to fill the gap by engaging girls in opportunities to learn from female STEM leaders who inspire girls to envision themselves in similar careers.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is committed to giving all girls the opportunity to participate in STEM experiences. Upcoming STEM events for girls include a nanotechnology day at Port Discover in Elizabeth City, Fun, Sun and Wind, a day of energy and ecosystem exploration at Jeanette’s Pier in Nags Head and Science Alive, an annual day of hands-on science at Norfolk State University. These STEM events are open to all girls, whether or not they are currently registered members of Girl Scouts.