Girl Scout STEM Expo
By Daryth Morrissey

2019 GSOC STEM ExpoJerry Donohue helps local Girl Scouts indentify
phytoplankton at the 2019 Girl Scout STEM Expo.
Photo by Daryth Morrissey.
Amigos de Bolsa Chica was honored to participate again this year in the Girl Scouts of Orange County STEM Expo at California State University Fullerton on Sunday, November 17. In case you are unfamiliar with the acronym “STEM”, it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This 4th annual Expo was jointly coordinated with CSUF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Association of Computing Machinery-Women (ACM-W) and the Girl Scouts of Orange County.

Amigos was one of 31 external organizations selected to host a table activity along with 13 clubs from Cal State Fullerton. There were three Computer Science Clubs, eight Engineering Clubs, and two Science Clubs. Some of the Companies/Organizations present were: Northrop Grumman, Bionerds, Kaiser Permanente, OC Crime Lab, Neuropsychology-Loma Linda, Society of Women Engineers, Aquarium of the Pacific, Cyber Youth Tech, and The Energy Coalition. The Titan Hall was alive with activities! Drones were flying, robotic cars were built, catapults launched marshmallows, and video games were being created. The event was at capacity, attended by 400 excited, engaged, enthusiastic and inquisitive Girl Scouts!

Amigos did a section of the FLOW Program. We had recent water samples collected from the Tidal Inlet, microscopes, and take away plankton sheets that the girls could write on and circle the kind of plankton they identified. We had Snowy Plover bookmarks, flyers explaining our FLOW Program and registration process for the leaders, copies of the most recent Tern Tide, and Junior Naturalist booklets from the American Cetacean Society-OC Chapter.

Two science teachers, Jerry Donahue (retired) and myself (currently working) volunteered to represent Amigos. I also was a speaker for the Career Corner where I spoke about my STEM volunteer activities. The biggest thrill for both of these teachers was to see the level of interest in all of the table events. Science was not a new adventure; the girls came with their well-developed academic vocabulary and prior knowledge to build on while they all experienced this Expo. As teachers, our hearts were bursting. These girls have an incredible future ahead!