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What do you want to be when you grow up? January 12, 2010

Posted by Connie Chow in Clubs, Junior Mentors, Mentor volunteers, Volunteering.
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One of the cool things about Science Club for Girls is that we don’t just settle for doing hands-on science in the classroom.  We take our girls on field trips that give them the chance to explore the many paths a science or engineering degree might take them and meet the cool women who are on that journey.  This past semester, companies and universities opened their doors to host 6 amazing field trips. Girls explored evolutionary biology with fish embryos and spiders at Harvard; played with a robot our mentor-scientist and MIT student Emily Conn designed; and felt a goat’s lung, without much squealing (from the girls), as part of a demo on biomedical engineering at Northeastern! (Watch for cool pix to come…) Two more descriptions below.

Rock star scientists of tomorrow!

Some of the 6-8th graders attending Science Club for Girls at the Movement City site in Lawrence saw science in action at Pfizer in Andover, MA.  Donned in full lab coats and goggles, the girls saw how a drug goes from getting tested in the lab to being ready for marketing.  The girls learned that Pfizer markets the ChapStick brand of lip balm, opening their minds to the many chemical compounds that can be made to help everyone from babies to horses!

Pfizer LogoWhat really made this field trip such a powerful experience, however, was that Movement City mentor-scientist Betsy Ebitson works at Pfizer.  Betsy arranged the entire field trip and in doing so, her girls made a stronger connection to her, seeing where she works.  Pfizer looks forward to hosting another field trip for us in the near future!

Avatars

Virtual museum guides, Ada & Grace

Who isn’t fascinated by twins? (Well, maybe the twins themselves). Ada & Grace at the Cahners Computer Place at the Museum of Science, aroused the curiosity for the fifteen Junior Mentors from the Cambridgeport School not only because they were expertly-animated avatars, but also because they recognized “natural speech”, i.e. plain talking, and could respond to questions related to themselves and the museum. (They might have to get out more). Each of them had a distinct personality and, just like the rest of us, quite capable of deflecting questions when they didn’t know the answer! (Yes, their names reference computer science pioneers Ada Lovelace & Grace Murray Hopper). Thanks to Meditech & Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. for sponsoring this MOS trip.

The girls were also impressed by the exhibit of Chris Jordan’s beautiful large scale photographs. It’s called Running the Numbers, Portraits of Mass Consumption. Go see numbers translated into imagery. It runs till May 2010. More

Thanks again to mentors Sarah Douglas and Alix Lacoste at Harvard, Emily Conn at MIT, NEU’s Kristin Salomon and Anna Craver, and Pfizer’s Betsy Ebitson for hosting.

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