Stephanie Little, assistant professor of psychology, David Lee, assistant professor of physics, Brian Shelburne, associate professor of computer science and department chair, John Ritter, professor of geology, department chair and director of environmental studies, and Justin Houseknecht, assistant professor of chemistry, are coordinating activities and experiments for event. The faculty will ask students from their majors to assist in their presentations.
The evening will include a wide variety of programs and workshops. Physics activities will involve electricity and magnetism, and a series of demonstrations by the chemistry department will allow the girls to see chemical change occur in a dramatic fashion. In addition, the psychology department plans activities that will test the girls’ memories.
The final event of the evening will be a trip to the observatory for — weather permitting — a bit of stargazing with Dan Fleisch, associate professor of physics.
Jennifer Brubaker, class of 2006 of Brookville, Ohio, has organized student volunteers to welcome the scouts and their parents, facilitate registration, and organize and guide the groups through the Kuss Science Center to the classrooms and laboratories that will be used for the workshops. Student volunteers include Chantel Havre, class of 2008 of Kent, Ohio, Emily Daniels, class of 2009 of Grove City, Ohio, Ryan Weiss, class of 2008 of Hilliard, Ohio, Tabi Thompson, class of 2006 of Cambridge, Ohio, Ali Stalzer, class of 2008 of Broadview Heights, Ohio, Whitney Hull, class of 2009 of Atlanta, N.Y., Jenny Graff, class of 2008 of Middletown, Ohio, and Dawn Lockwood, class of 2008 of Columbus, Ohio.
“ Wittenberg students assist at the workshops and guide the girls around the science center,” Gaffney said. “Many workshops have that ‘wow’ factor that the girls love.”
Kim Gaffney, younger girl program specialist of the Buckeye Trails Girl Scout Council, expects at least 120 girls, all from the Springfield area. Most are between the ages of eight and 10. Many will be accompanied by their parents during the event.
“So far we have 30 parents registered,” Gaffney said, adding that she expects more to become involved by the night of the program.
The program began in 2001 through the efforts of Mike Crotty, Wittenberg School of Community Education class of 2002. The father of three girls, Crotty approached members of Wittenberg’s science departments after seeing his daughters’ enthusiasm for stargazing during an open house at Weaver Observatory. The university and its science faculty agreed to the concept, and the program quickly became a reality.
“The girls enjoy the hands-on interaction in the workshops with the professors and students,” Gaffney said. “The goal is to inspire girls to seek careers in science.”
- Phyllis Eberts
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