One day after school, Eva, a Girls Inc. Elementary School Coordinator, got a call to come to the playground as soon as possible. “Come here, come here!” one of the girls said. “Look at my bug string!”
While this might seem an odd request, the participant was excited to show off what she was doing in Science Action Club. Designed for 4th and 5th grade students, the Science Action Club is a program Girls Inc. delivers in partnership with the California Academy of Sciences.
This semester, girls investigated the world of bugs and learned about insect life all around them. One activity mapped out the imagined progress of a bug making its way through the yard. Using a piece of string, the girls laid out where a bug would crawl, what obstacles it would face, and what food it might encounter along the way.
Designed around the concept of citizen science, Science Action Club delivers hands-on activities where girls get to observe and interact with the world around them. The Girls Inc. approach to STEM is very hands-on/minds-on. As many girls’ confidence and interest in science starts to wane by middle school, intentional activities where girls get to not only see science in action, but connect what they learn to how the world works goes a long way to generate enthusiasm and a lasting interest in STEM.
One of the joys of Science Action Club is watching the girls’ interest and curiosity bloom. As one program leader said, “It is great to see the girls running around with nets and binoculars and notebooks – they get really excited to collect specimens and share what they’ve found.”