We had three amazing college students work with us to deliver the Girls in Science Camp at Green Street and serve as role models for the campers. This year, those young women were Josephine Ho, Mackenzie Schlosser, and Victoria Barr. In this six-part series, they share their experiences and favorite moments of the week.
Girls in Science Camp Reflection – “Measurement & Bacteria Activities”
by Mackenzie Schlosser
I was Dr. Erika Taylor’s assistant for the camp, and we focused on learning about measurement and cells. The first set of activities we did served to get the girls acquainted with the metric system and the ways in which we measure temperature, volume, length, and weight. For temperature, the girls learned to make hypotheses and read a thermometer for containers or water, ice, hot water, and dry ice water. We measured the length of the hallway in made up units like notebook lengths or the heights of individual campers, then calculated the final length in centimeters. Being able to give scale to and calculate the things we study is important and it helped the girls think more scientifically.
Once we learned how teeny tiny bacteria were, we moved on to where and how they grow. This activity was fun. Everyone got a few petri dishes of media and got to swab anything they wanted so they could make hypotheses about how much bacteria would grow. I picked my shoes, bathroom scale, phone, keys, and watch. The girls picked things like grapes, the toilet, the floors, and a tree. After letting them grow overnight, we got to see which cultures were largest. It was great to give them a taste of what we study and show how bacteria are everywhere.