Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fun, Sun and Wind

Over 100 Girl Scouts took to the beach for a day of science learning on April 25 during a special STEM (science, technology, engineer and math) event for Girl Scouts at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. The event was an a fun and educational experience for girls to learn more about marine life, ecosystems and energy.

Girl Scout Cadette Emma fishes off of Jennette's Pier
During the day, girls explored the biodiversity of the intertidal zone and learned about the animals that call the shores and waters of the Outer Banks home. They went on a beach scavenger hunt to look for shells, skate egg cases and other signs of the unique ecosystem at the beach. Girl Scouts also learned the basic skills necessary to catch a fish from the pier, including casting, reeling and proper catch and release techniques.

Kristen Brown, curator of education at Jeanette’s Pier, led a workshop for Girl Scouts to learn about harnessing wind energy by making their own wind turbines. Girls worked in groups to design blades for the turbine and tested how much energy they could harness in a wind tunnel set up in the classroom on the pier. During the workshop, Brown also taught the girls about the advantages and disadvantages of wind energy, the importance of clean wind and alternative energy.

Girl Scout Cadettes Jada and Kaelyn work on building a wind
turbine in the classroom at Jennette's Pier.
“So many jobs are based on technology and science today, and girls need to see that they are an important part of our future workforce,” Brown said. “Girls are just as good at building things as boys, and they need to be exposed to engineering tasks from a young age if we want them to take an interest in it.”

In today’s world, women hold only about 25 percent of careers in STEM. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, 82 percent of girls see themselves as smart enough to have a career in STEM, but only 13 percent say it’s their first choice. Girl Scouts is working with community partners, such as Jennette’s Pier, to give girls access to fun and informal ways to explore in the STEM fields.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is committed to giving all girls the opportunity to participate in STEM experiences. This summer, girls can attend various STEM-themed Girl Scout camps. Also, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, in partnership with Norfolk State University, will host Science Alive, a day of hands-on STEM learning, in September. Girl Scout camps and events are open to all girls, whether or not they are currently registered members of Girl Scouts. For more information, visit