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Amazing Science Week camp 'encourage girls to realize that science is a lot of fun'

August 10, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Sydney Lee, left, of Rockville stares at a simulated tornado made from the liquid in the two bottles she is holding taped together at the Amazing Science Camp at Discovery Station with her sister Faith Lee, right, and Kylee McKenrick of Hagerstown, center. Ava Selby of Boonsboro, far left, and Camilla Montoya, far right, of Boonsboro also look on.
By Caleb Calhoun/Moble Journalist

Studying everything from flight to sound and vision to chemistry, five young girls have been learning about a wide range of topics during Amazing Science Week camp at the Discovery Station in Hagerstown.

As they studied the environment on Friday, the girls took turns shaking two bottles taped together that contained liquid to simulate a tornado.

“I’ve loved how we get to experiment on things,” said Kylee McKenrick, 10, of Hagerstown.

Kylee, who is entering the fifth grade later this month, said she has learned a lot about how the eye and the ear work, including that cones allow humans to see color, and what can happen when water gets into the ear.

 Sydney Lee, 10, of Rockville, Md., who spent the week in the area with her grandmother, also attended the camp, noting that what she learned about chemistry got her attention.

“I like that we do really fun and different experiments,” Sydney said.

The camp, held for two hours each day, started Monday and ran through Friday. It was for elementary school girls in the third grade or beyond.

Mary Licht, a volunteer at the Discovery Station, and the coordinator and a teacher at the camp, said the idea was a way to advertise the Discovery Station, while making use of the materials and centers there.

“This camp advertises what centers are here, and what kind of topics we are sharing with the community,” Licht said. “It helps develop interest in science for not only our community members but hopefully our children.”

The camp was limited to girls, because an $1,100 grant was secured to pay for the materials just for females, Licht said.

“We want to encourage young women to go into science,” she said. “Science is still a field where it’s predominantly men, and a lot of girls are kind of afraid of science, and we wanted to encourage girls to realize that science is a lot of fun, and there’s a lot of learning.”

Licht, who was an elementary school teacher, was assisted by Discovery Station volunteer Pat Beard, another teacher and Penn State Mont Alto aerospace engineering student Keagan Boyce, who lives in Hagerstown.

Boyce, 21, a regular volunteer at the Discovery Station, said he was excited to be involved in the camp because it included aspects of science that he enjoys.

“I thought this would be a good opportunity to induce curiosity in children and get them to ask questions,” he said. “We try to present them with problems and try to get them to figure out the answers rather than relying on us to get the answers.

“A lot of the concepts that we’re teaching them are very complex,” Boyce said. “For instance, on Wednesday we covered flight, and that’s a really complicated subject, so we had to simplify the physics and science of it, while still being able to get the point across so they understand the basics of it.”

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