Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day has been an event in Anchorage for years, and now it’s coming to Juneau.
The collaboration between Girl Scouts of Alaska and ExxonMobil is meant to encourage an interest in science, technology, engineering and math, and it will bring hands-on STEM learning opportunities to Centennial Hall from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
“We’ve been hoping that they would bring this down for years, so I’m really excited,” said Alyson Cooper, membership specialist for Southeast Alaska for Girl Scouts of Alaska. “We have done a lot of work to bring lots of science, technology, engineering and math to the girls. It’s hands-on, it’s all about those things that make it a Girl Scout event.”
The event, which is part of a worldwide campaign, will include experiments, interaction with role models and more.
“We have girls who are really excited,” said Kelly FitzGerald, STEM director for Girl Scouts of Alaska. “But we do have space available.”
Introduce a Girl to STEM Day is free and open to all girls in fifth through eighth grade, FitzGerald said — even non Scouts.
“At GirlScoutsAlaska.org and click on activities, they will be able to see the link to register,” FitzGerald said. “It is free and girls receive a free T-shirt, a goodie bag, patch and lunch is provided.”
Two engineers for ExxonMobil Alaska, who will participate in Saturday’s event said they are fans of the program, and it can make a difference.
Sonia Laughland, environmental and regulatory adviser for ExxonMobil Alaska, and Erin Sage, risk and safety adviser for ExxonMobil Alaska, were both interested in STEM-related subjects as children.
“My first toy was a calculator,” Sage said. “I always loved math. That was something I always wanted to pursue.”
But Sage and Laughland did not specifically know engineering was something they would be interesting until they were older and had firsthand experience with engineers and the world of engineering.
“I wish I had learned about the exciting part of being an engineer much earlier on.” Laughland said.
She will helm one of the more popular hands-on stations during Saturday’s event and hopes to share some of that excitement.
“We’re actually going to be making chapstick using oils and butters,” Laughland said. “In the past, it’s definitely been a crowd pleaser.”
Know & Go
What: Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
Where: Centennial Hall, 101 Egan Drive.
When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday.
Admission: Free, but registration ahead online is required.