Girls unite for science at Girls-n-Science event, article by student contributor Ayla Grandpre

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Dr. Ivy Fortmeyer working with a battery made from household items.

Dr. Ivy Fortmeyer working with a battery made from household items.

Great things can happen when scientists in the community get together to reach out to young minds, especially at a science fair. Girls- n- Science is an annual public event featuring booths run by scientists and business people around the Billings area. This year the event took place at MSU-B and was geared towards encouraging young people towards the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics fields (STEM).

Rocky Student explains poster board to not only children but adults too.

Rocky Student explains poster board to not only children but adults too.

The event provided various hands on activities like slime making, heat sensing, circuit building, and interaction with animals. Rocky Mountain College’s science department provided its fair share of involvement, and ran four booths at the event.

Representatives from the college in chemistry, biology, environmental science, and aviation were present at the event.

Dr. Ivy Fortmeyer along with myself, Ayla Grandpre, demonstrated a simple way to make a battery out of household supplies. It was very rewarding to watch the young girls’ eyes light up as a light connected to their battery turned on.

Dr. Holly Basta and student Sierra Hentges used carnival games to help students learn about different elements of environmental science.

Dr. Holly Basta and student Sierra Hentges used carnival games to help
students learn about different elements of environmental science.

Dr. Megan Poulette, of the environmental science department, showed young students how to use a microscope. Students got the oppurtunity to view spiders, beatles, and micro-organisms.

Informing the public is an important part of a scientist’s job. The biology department informed onlookers about vaccination and livestock herd immunity. Dr. Holly Basta, along with Rocky alumnus Taniella Beede and student Sierra Hentges, created carnival games at their booth that taught young students about different elements of environmental science.

The aviation department, led by Rocky students Connor Arnold taught young students the science of flight by helping them carve their very own styrofoam wings.

Another featured section was Imagine Your Future where young students interacted with student researchers.

Young students learn how to use microscopes with help from Dr. Megan Poulette of the environmental science department. Photos courtesy of Ayla Grandpre.

Young students learn how to use microscopes with help from Dr. Megan Poulette of the environmental science
department. Photos courtesy of Ayla Grandpre.

Rocky students Kayla Moreno, Mauri Erickson, Faith Robichaud and Alethea Shaules presented their findings, and hoped to excite the young girls about their own futures.

Besides informing young minds about STEM related topics Girls-n- Science has many other benefits.

Most importantly it creates relationships with young girls and scientists in the community. Now these young girls have role models to look up to, and to inspire them to chase their goals. The event also allows Rocky professors and students to network and see the other fascinating projects around the Billings community.

Science is all about working together for the greater good. Fortunately, inspiring young minds isn’t an area where Rocky falls short.

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