Diving into STEM at MarineQuest!

On Saturday, May 5th, Girl Scout Brownies ventured to the North Carolina Coast to unleash their inner innovator at MarineQuest! MarineQuest is an awesome STEM event with the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) that Girl Scouts can participate in to learn more about marine life and their habitat!

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Starting their day off with a splash, the troop checked in at the Center for Marine Sciences at UNCW! The girls were welcomed into the center to explore and learn about native marine life right away, and had some time to walk around the exhibit. There was a touch tank for the girls to interact and touch the sea life, as well as tanks with different species of marine life and lots of examples of native shells.

 

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After having some time to explore and ask questions, the troop headed on outside to the dock at the salt marsh to complete their first activity of the day! The girls made two examples of the coast, one with a salt marsh and one without. They used items such as plastic bags and fertilizer to represent the pollutants. A sponge was used to represent the salt marsh, and spray bottles simulated rain and hurricanes. Through the creation and then testing of each of the two environments the girls had simulated, they were able to physically see how the marsh helps to filter the water! While they were at the salt marsh, the girls also learned how to pick up and hold a crab safely!

 

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 “I learned how to hold a crab SAFELY! It was really fun at MarineQuest.”  said Girl Scout Brownie Audrey.

The girls headed on back to the Center for Marine Sciences to learn about the blue crab, a species native to North Carolina! They were given an actual crab to touch and move as the anatomy of the crab was explained. The girls learned about the different kinds of legs, how to determine a crab’s gender, and all about the crab’s eyes and mouth!

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“I learned what the parts of a blue crab are for!”  said Girl Scout Brownie Elaina.

After lunch, the troop travelled to Fort Fisher where they practiced seine netting. Seine netting is a method of fishing where a net is hung vertically in the water with the bottom edge held down by weights and the top edge is held up by floats. The girls waded in up to their waists, setting and then pulling in nets as a group. They pulled fish and crabs from the net which they later identified with the group!

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“My favorite part was about catching fish with a big net. First, we unfolded the net then we got in the water and carefully brought it back to shore. We caught shrimp, fish, minnows, crabs. It was so fun!”  said Girl Scout Brownie Willow.

Girl Scouts know there’s no better way to experience STEM than to try it out for themselves, and through programs like MarineQuest, Girl Scouts of all ages can unleash their inner Innovator as they discover new passions and skills! In addition to our STEM events, Girl Scouts can also embark on STEM Journeys where they can dive into the mind of a programmer, problem solve like an engineer, or take action like a citizen scientist. When exploring STEM with her fellow G.I.R.L.s, there’s nothing a Girl Scout can’t do! What STEM adventures will you go on next, Girl Scouts?

 

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