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ORAU partners with Girl Scouts and AMSE for science education 

ORAU partners with Girl Scouts, AMSE to provide a series of interactive science stations for weekend encampment

Sept. 28, 2011

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Oak Ridge Associated Universities, in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians and the American Museum of Science and Energy, recently provided a series of interactive science stations as part of the Energize, Enlighten and EmPOWER weekend encampment held Saturday.

Girl Scouts race solar cars during encampment

Troop members assemble and race solar cars during the Energize, Enlighten and EmPOWER encampment provided by ORAU, Girl Scouts for Southern Appalachians and AMSE. Click image to enlarge.

Held at Camp Tanasi, the event gave scouts ranging from kindergarten to 11th grade, along with their troop leaders, the opportunity to investigate the fields of science and energy through hands-on experiments. Instead of the traditional craft-related activities, the girls were divided into groups and rotated through multiple stations with activities that ranged from testing the energy generated from a solar car to experimenting with chemical energy to create foam gnomes.

“One goal of ORAU’s Science and Education Program is to excite students about the subjects of math and science,” stated Marie Westfall, science education group manager for ORAU. “Working with the Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians and AMSE gives us a wonderful opportunity to help spark girls’ interest in the topics of science and energy and possibly broaden their knowledge of career options.”

“Through this camp and the partnership with ORAU and AMSE we were able to give our girls a valuable, hands-on learning experience they will be able to carry with them for many years to come," said Ginger Klein, Troop 21087 Leader and Emory Valley Service Unit Manager. “Our role with the girls is to engage and empower them by giving them the courage and confidence to learn new things, and this camp embodied that very idea and was a truly rewarding experience for everyone involved.”

This is the first time ORAU, AMSE and the Girl Scouts have partnered to bring interactive science related activities to participating troops.

“The American Museum of Science & Energy is excited to be teaming with the Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians and ORAU to deliver hands-on science activities to the Girl Scouts at Camp Tanasi,” said AMSE Deputy Director Ken Mayes. “We believe that teaching through hands-on activities is key to getting and keeping children excited about science.”

In addition to Saturday’s program, volunteers at the encampment included lessons based on the national Girl Scout Journey-series programs, which support the state school curriculum and provide a backbone for leadership development programming in Girl Scouting.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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