On Saturday, February 3rd, the Girl Scouts of Alaska held their Women of Science & Technology Day workshop to help promote curiosity in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. Members from the American Fisheries Society-Alaska Pacific University Subunit Club (AFS-APU Subunit) volunteered to present two different workshops to Girl Scouts, grades K-3. These two workshops were focused on fisheries and careers within the marine science field.
The first workshop, titled “Silly Sea,” focused on how fisheries scientists answer the question “how many fish are in the ocean?” and how they use sampling methods to find an answer. A box of various toys was used as an example for the denizens of the ocean. The Scouts were first asked to guess how many toys or “fish” were in the box. They then took “samples” out of the box and counted how many of each toy was in their sample. Finally, they made another guess as to how many of each toy was in the box, using the data from their sample as information to guide their ‘estimate’. The two different guesses were then compared to see which was closer to the actual number of toys in the box.
The “Silly Sea” workshop was concluded by discussing which method was a better method for estimating fish populations – with or without sampling. AFS-APU Subunit members Susie Zagorski, Brianna King, and Meadhbh Moriarty finished the workshop by talking to the girls about their own jobs in the STEM field and their past work in their science careers.
The second workshop, called “Just Keep Swimming” explored how fish and benthic invertebrates all swim or move differently in the ocean. The kids were given two different crayons and a coloring sheet with marine animals on it (whale, sea lion, salmon, halibut scallop, and shrimp) and were told to color what they thought was a fast or slow swimming animal. Using these colored sheets, they discussed why some animals may swim faster than others, and whether it was for food or saving energy.
Following the color sheet activity, a video was shown to the girls depicting how each of the animals from the color sheet swim in the ocean. They were then prompted to dance or act out how each animal swam to show what different muscles are being used. To conclude this workshop, AFS-APU Subunit members Kelsey Bockelman, Anita Kroska, and Victoria Batter talked about their past research in undergrad and their current projects in graduate school.
After presenting the two workshops, the AFS-APU Subunit club members attended a luncheon with the Girl Scouts to interact in an informal setting and to listen to guest speakers.