Posts Tagged ‘STEM’

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Rain Garden in Time for April Showers

February 27, 2014

By Kristin Yerkie, Camp Staff

Rain Garden ProjectThe rain garden designed as part of Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines’ Citizen Science Series continues to take shape with the engineers at Grounded Engineering of Raleigh. Set to be unveiled during the Good Earth Adventures event at Camp Mary Atkinson (CMA) on April 26, the ten Girl Scouts participating in the design and construction process anxiously await to see their hard work come to fruition.

When asked about their experience with the project, the participants had many things to say:

“We get to make our designs as a group and it’s a very useful experience; educational as well. We have got to use a lot of different technologies that most people haven’t even seen or heard of. We used the 3D simulator and Kinect to try out different rain gardens for CMA. It was so cool!” ~ Abby, Girl Scout Senior

“Dirt and Tigger (a.k.a. the program staff) have made it so not only is it a fun learning experience for us to create this rain garden, but they have also given us the responsibility and treated us like adults in allowing us to create the rain garden with our own thoughts and ideas while guiding us along the way.” ~ Nicole, Girl Scout Ambassador

“All the technology we get to experience is really neat. I also love how hands-on it has been!” ~ Alyssa, Girl Scout Senior

“We were able to mess with technology and the Kinnect was kind of like something you would see in movies. We also got to use augers to take soil samples from CMA, and see a rain simulator. These are the types of things that you get out of an agricultural experience like Citizen Science with really cool people!” ~ Janelle, Girl Scout Ambassador

How awesome is that?  Thanks to support from Duke Energy Foundation, Girl Scouting is able to provide this opportunity for girls to become savvy, innovative, aspiring science and engineering leaders.

Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines strives to provide opportunities for girls that enhances exposure and deepens engagement in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics – or STEM.

Interested in careers which focus on science or technology? Watch our Inner-views podcast series focuses on North Carolina women in STEM.

Tell us what you love about girls and STEM?

 

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Citizen Science Series: Building a Rain Garden

December 15, 2013

By Kristin Yerkie, Camp staff

group photo with dirtTen Girl Scouts are participating in Girl Scout – NC Coastal Pines’ Citizen Science series program which focuses on soil science and the impact eroded soil has as a stream pollutant in North Carolina. This fall, the girls have met with scientists and local engineers to learn about causes and costs of erosion while developing their own plan for a rain garden at Camp Mary Atkinson in Selma, NC.

In their first session, the girls met with Amanda “Dirt” Leisch a Soil Science PhD student at NC State University to build their own 3D model of the Leadership Center at Camp Mary Atkinson and the surrounding grounds using kinetic sand. This project allowed the girls to test out different shapes and designs for their rain garden.

The girls then met with wetland scientist from Sepi Engineering, Shawn Clark, fish and wildlife biologist with US Fish and Wildlife Service, JohnAnn Shearer, and conservation incentives program director with NCDENR, Scott Pohlman. The local professionals explained their design and implementation process for the rain garden they built.

The second session brought the girls out to Camp Mary Atkinson where they got down and dirty! Using augers the girls took soil samples of several locations and saw firsthand the different levels of soil that exist beneath the surface. There is an entire history underneath our feet every day and these Girl Scouts certainly had to put all their energy into digging it up.

Session three brought the girls to the research grounds of NC State University. The girls tested which covering would provide the best filtering for their rain garden by using a rain simulator. The next experiment taught the girls about polyachrilamide, PAM for short. This substance is used to assist in the filtering of water by adhering to the particles in the water and making them clump together.

imaging software2The team then got to use state of the art technology in the Tangible GIS Visualization lab. Using the 3D model they had created a couple sessions previously, the kinetic sand and the Kinnect imaging software, they tested which shape would lead to the most filtration and decrease in polluted runoff from the Leadership Center.

During these first sessions the girls learned a great deal about the science behind building their own rain garden. They couldn’t wait for their final two sessions where they would create their final design and submit it to the engineers for approval. They are truly Citizen Scientists in action!

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