Young scientists to solve mystery at annual event
Oct. 5, 2017 LA GRANDE, Ore – As many as 100 girls from 11 regional counties will converge on a fictional crime scene Oct. 28 at Eastern Oregon University, and use chemistry, biology, mathematics and technology to solve the case of a missing geologist.
Girls in Science, an annual event that partners EOU with Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center (NEOAHEC), provides a full day of STEM programming for girls in grades six through eight.
“Girls in Science and similar STEM activities broaden students’ horizons, inspire them to take an interest in science-based fields, and show them that they have what it takes to be successful in these types of careers,” said program coordinator Brittany Hargrove.
Activities follow a central narrative and guide attendees through a variety of hands-on activities in EOU’s science labs to uncover the facts of a make-believe missing person case. The young attendees work in groups to figure out what happened to Crystal Diamond at her Halloween costume party.
EOU students play a key part in the program. Participation in this and other outreach activities recently garnered the Chemistry Club its eighth outstanding award from the American Chemical Society for the 2016-17 academic year.
“Chemistry and Biology Club students assist with lab activities, while theater students come adorned in costumes to add a dramatic flair to the event,” Hargrove said. “It is really a shining example of teamwork, as it requires close collaboration between EOU, NEOAHEC, and other community partners.”
Hargrove said EOU chemistry professor Anna Cavinato has been instrumental to Girls in Science since its inception 16 years ago.
“She coordinates volunteers for the event, and works with her associates in various EOU departments to come up with the theme each year, including the backstory, curriculum, and all activities,” Hargrove said.
Additional EOU faculty members on the team include DeAnna Timmerman, Laura Mahrt, Patty Sandoz, Richard Croft, Amy Yielding, and former professor Aaron Boudreaux.
Registration is open through Oct. 12 and costs $10 per participant. Limited spaces available. For more information, visit neoahec.org/programs/girls-in-science.