Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2018
Monday–Friday, March 5–9, 2018; Los Angeles, California
Session F02: Public Outreach and Physics History: Exploring physics topics beyond the lab.
11:15 AM–1:51 PM,
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
LACC Room: 150B
Sponsoring Unit: FOEP
Chair: Rebecca Thompson, American Physical Society APS
Abstract: F02.00003 : Physics Wonder Girls Camp*
11:39 AM–11:51 AM
"Physics Wonder Girls" is a free, summer STEM/Physics Camp for middle school girls and was conceived to help reduce the risk of girls losing interest in STEM during their middle school years. Originally funded out of a physics research grant from the National Science Foundation, the camp started out in Indiana and came to Philadelphia in 2016, on the campus of the University of the Sciences. It is now on its fifth year, and has been featured on Philadelphia's ABC News. I discuss how the camp brings together a select cohort of girls who experience four intense days of project-building of robots and submersibles, hands-on physics demos and experiments, and direct conversations with women scientists from outside the university, particularly female scientists from private industry and the federal government. In 2017, the girls were visited by then newly-crowned Miss USA 2017 Kara McCullough who is a nuclear scientist with the Nuclear Regulatory Commision. Other features of the camp are an introduction to profiles of influential women scientists, involving parents in "homework" and a mostly women crew. We discuss efforts to monitor any long-term effects of the camp on the girls choices of careers.
*We acknowledge funding by the Lindback Foundation.
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