Women in Science: Where Girl Scouts and Scientists Meet

Every year, the Alaska SeaLife Center hosts Girl Scouts for Women in Science. This year’s event was held on Sunday, April 23. This program brings Girl Scouts and female scientists from the Seward community together for an afternoon. The girls get to learn about different careers in the field of science and the type of education and training needed for these career paths. The best part is the girls get to be scientists for a day! They engage in hands-on activities to discover some of the techniques that scientists use in their jobs.

This year, the girls learned about conducting research in the laboratory and in the field. During their first activity, they were taught how microbiology is used to identify diseases and practiced inoculating agar plates to select for different bacteria. The girls also dissected infertile chicken eggs to learn the various parts of the egg and how they can be used in avian research.

Dr. Katrina Counihan teaching a group of girls how to dissect an egg.

Their second activity took them to the “field”. They observed some of the Alaska SeaLife Center’s resident marine animals and recorded data on sea lions and seals swimming and fish behavior. They also recorded their discoveries on a pretend dive survey at one of the underwater tanks.

The last activity returned the girls to the lab where they learned how similar humans are to seals. They participated in experiments that taught them about dive response and thermoregulation. The skeletal structure of marine mammals was explored by viewing x-rays of seals and sea lions.

Dr. Amy Bishop teaching the girls about the function of blubber.

The girls had a great time learning about careers in science, and the scientists enjoyed sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge.  The afternoon was a wonderful experience for both the Girl Scouts and the scientists!

Written by: Dr. Katrina Counihan

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