By Annie Tang

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Girl Scouts from Orange County attended the Girl Scouts Engineering Night at Girl Scouts of Orange County held by OC Science on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Enthusiastic Girls Scouts ranging from grades four to six came to the event to participate in a hands-on STEM activity of their choice.

“STEM is everywhere in our lives,” guest speaker Jeff Winston said in his opening speech. “STEM is the most exciting thing on the planet because it’s everywhere.”

The Girls Scouts Engineering Night had four stations available for the girls: earthquake and buildings, strawberry DNA extraction, elephant’s toothpaste, cryptology and cyphers. The stations kept the girls engaged and excited about STEM.

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OC Science President and junior Sherry Xu tells the goal of the Girl Scouts Engineering Night. “Girl Scouts recently made a new STEM badge,” explained Xu. “The goal is to introduce the girl scouts to hands on science, and at the same time earn their STEM badges.”

In the earthquake and buildings station, the girls were asked to build structures out of sticks and marshmallows that would resist the shaking of an earthquake. After they finished building, the structures are placed on top of Jell-O to test its stability.

OC Science volunteer and sophomore Riley Messinger stated, “It is important for the girls to see how these things apply to real life situations.”

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The strawberry DNA extraction station introduces girls to the concept of DNA. “Students will take a strawberry and extract the DNA out of it, and while they do it they get to explore more about what DNA is and the role it plays in themselves.” Director of General Public Outreach Events and sophomore Elaine Chao explains. “The most important thing is that the students can see how [DNA] is shaping the future of science.”

At the elephant’s toothpaste station, the kids explored various different elements and their reactions by doing an exciting experiment. OC Science volunteer and eighth-grader noted, “The girls are really excited to learn [about the elements].”

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The cryptology station teaches girl scouts about cyphers and codes and how to use a cipher or a code. Girls were asked to make their own set of codes that they would share with another girl scout.

The Girl Scouts Engineering Night helped girls understand science beyond the school. OC Science cryptology station volunteer and freshman Celina Shen said, “…the most important thing is that they get to explore what science is about, like the fun part of science outside of classes.”

The Girl Scouts were very delighted to be here and appreciative of the event. “People give time to teach us more stuff, and I really like learning stuff,” Earthquake station participant and fourth-grader Jaedw Pinto noticed. “There’s a lot of things I want to learn, and if I come back I want to learn like coding or something else.”

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When asked if she would come to the next event, Strawberry DNA extraction participant and sixth-grader Emme Liao answered without hesitation, “Yes, I would. 100 percent yes.”

“I’m glad it’s happening,” commented Xu after watching the event unfold. “I think it’s important that girls are at least introduced to science.”

OC Science will be holding more Girl Scouts Engineering Nights in 2017. For more information about future events, visit www.ocscience.org.