March 27, 2012
Earth sciences society to host workshop for Girl Scouts March 31
The Epsilon Theta Chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, an honor society for Earth sciences at Northwest Missouri State University, will host a science workshop Saturday, March 31, on the University campus for Girl Scouts between the ages of 5 and 15.
Local Girl Scouts will join girls from communities throughout Nodaway County and as far away as Liberty for an opportunity to earn science badges for the Daisy, Brownie, Junior and Cadette levels of scouting. About 90 girls are registered to participate, including 27 who will be working toward their bridging badge, a requirement to advance to the next level of scouting.
The workshop will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Garrett-Strong Science Building with afternoon sessions from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Reduced lunches will be available from noon to 1 p.m.
The cost per person to participate in the workshop is $6 per person and a can of food that will be donated to the Second Harvest Community Food Bank in St. Joseph.
With assistance from members of Gamma Theta Upsilon, Northwest’s geography honor society, 15 members of Sigma Gamma Epsilon will work with the Girl Scouts throughout the day to conduct experiments and demonstrations.
- Daisy scouts, for girls in kindergarten and first grade, will conduct small experiments to learn about the natural world. Their experiments will include lessons about the water cycle, building water wells and how fossils form. Activities will include a guided tour of the Northwest Science Museum, where they will see an authentic Mosasaur skeleton, an 80-million-year-old aquatic dinosaur.
- Brownies, for girls in second and third grades, will use a host of common household items to learn basic physics concepts, including surface tension, changes of state (liquid to solid) and buoyancy.
- Juniors, girls in fourth and fifth grades, will spend their time geocaching outdoors. Geocaching is an international phenomenon in which participants use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and general orienteering skills to locate hidden treasure.
- Cadettes will participate in two events. They will work with a qualified professional to learn the basics of proper nutrition and then be introduced to the fundamentals of gems and gemstones.
While the event is the first of its kind to benefit girls in northwest Missouri, Theresa Cummins, troop leader for Troop 8298 in Maryville and one of the event’s organizers, said the Northwest students are helping to fulfill a critical need for area girls.
“These types of activities occur down in Kansas City, but most of our girls can’t get there,” Cummins said. “I am like many leaders in that I don’t have a science background, so my girls would not have this type of experience if it were not for Sigma Gamma Epsilon.”
Northwest’s Department of Geology and Geography is sponsoring the event along with local businesses Casey’s General Store, Hy-Vee, Orscheln Farm and Home, and Walmart.
Sigma Gamma Epsilon is the national honorary society for the Earth sciences. Founded in 1915, the society includes 200 chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States. The Epsilon Theta Chapter at Northwest consists of more than 25 geology and Earth sciences students. Membership is by invitation only, and requires excellence in scholarship, service to the department and University, and outreach to the community.
For more information about the science workshop, contact Dr. Aaron Johnson, Northwest assistant professor of geology, at 660.541.5536, or Maureen Gallagher, Daisy scout leader for Troop 8307, at 660.541.1941.
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