Ed Note – We invite coverage but ask that members of the media check in with the event staff outside of the Washburn Room in the Memorial Union. Students whose parents have signed a photography release will have specially marked nametags and we will be happy to help you identify them. We want to respect the wishes of those who choose not to have their children photographed.
Topeka Kan.– More than 250 girls will get a chance to try 20 different science labs on Monday, October 22, as Washburn University hosts the 11th annual Women in Science Day. The event is designed to help motivate a new generation of girls to think about studying science.
The day will feature two speakers -- Rachel Rost, education specialist at the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center and Heather Pfannenstiel, lecturer and lab coordinator in the Washburn biology department – along with a wide range of hands-on lab activities. The entire event is driven by studies which indicate that girls perform as well as boys in math and science but lose interest in the subjects in middle school and high school. The studies show that demonstrating the practical applications of science and technology in everyday life keeps young girls interested and engaged.
Women in Science Day is free for the participating schools and runs from 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22 in multiple locations across the Washburn campus, including the KBI Forensic Science Building and Stoffer Science Hall.
The participating seventh grade girls are coming from Chase, Eisenhower, French, Jardine, Landon, Robinson, Mater Dei, St. Matthews, Washburn Rural, Seaman, Southwest (Lawrence) and Chase County.
The lectures take place 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. in the Washburn Rooms in Memorial Union. Followed by the lectures, the students will break into groups and participate in different labs.
There will be 20 lab activities for the girls to choose from ranging from designing a videogame to forensic science. These activities are designed to encourage and interest young girls in science. The lab activities start at 9:40 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. then from noon to 12:50 p.m. Each of the labs will take about 45 minutes. Those hands-on activities will include:
- “Who Dunnit” Analytical techniques used in crime laboratories.
- “The Yummy Side of Science” Why do people taste food differently?
- “Why Do You Run So Fast?” Fitness testing and training tips.
- “Where do Galaxies Live?” Classify galaxies using images from the Hubble Telescope.
- “Learning Probability and Statistics by Playing With ‘Funny’ Dice”
- “What’s that Substance? Determine the identity of a mystery white powder.
- “Everyday Superpowers!” Explore how your body adjusts to its surroundings.
- “How to Save a Life: The Science Behind CPR” The science behind the action of CPR.
- “Let’s Make Some Weather!” Includes lightning, fog and thunderstorms.
- “Mussel Power! Learn about freshwater muscles and their unique anatomy.
- “Have a Heart (and Lungs) The normal anatomy of hearts and lungs of animals.
- “Garbology: Are We What We Throw Away?” Use garbage to learn about a community.
- “CELL-U-LeARn” View single cell organisms through a microscope.
- “Volcanoes!” Build your own exploding volcano!
- “Things Aren’t Always as They Seem: Discovering Reality with Psychological Science” Be a participant in a psychology lab experiment.
- “Large to Small: Scale Mapping” Mapping an archeological site.
- “A Day in the Life of a USGS Water Scientist” Hands on learning about water cycles.
- “Hospital Lab: Behind the Scenes” Learn what happens in a hospital lab.
- “OOPs, I Made a Videogame!” Design your own videogame.
- “Scentsibility” Investigate how smells can affect memories, mood and stress levels.