USciences Students Share Passion for Physics at STEM Camp for Girls

By Jenna Pizzi and Colby Gallagher

Published on June 24, 2019

USciences physics students and alumni came together for two weeks in June to share their passion for science with middle school girls enrolled in the Physics Wonder Girls Camp.

Caitlyn McConnell Phys’18, BMS’18, PhD’24 (chemistry) has volunteered with the camp for the last three years, along the way meeting many young girls, who like her, have had their interest in science sparked at a young age.

“It makes me so happy to see them so interested and involved,” said McConnell. “My favorite part of this is getting to hang out with girls who like science all day, getting to teach them and just getting to know them.”

This year’s camp, which is spread over two weeks and engaging more than two dozen middle-school aged girls, is sponsored by Puratos Corporation and Constellation, an Exelon company.

“We go over simple concepts, this year focusing on solar energy,” said McConnell. “We are teaching them about sustainable energy.”

Mentored by Roberto Ramos PhD, associate professor of physics, and a cohort of physics students, the campers engaged in hands-on activities like building and operating solar-powered cars and boats, and learned about food science from female food scientists from Puratos, an international company helping bakers, patissiers, and chocolatiers find the best products and ingredients. The girls were also visited by female scientists in a variety of fields to learn about different career pathways.

Physics Wonder Girls 2019Avani Verma, a rising 8th grader at Moorestown Friends School, said she is grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this camp as the hands-on experiences will be beneficial to her future education as she’d like to become a doctor.

“I really think it is a great opportunity to experience what it is going to be like when you get older,” said Verna. “When you do things like this it makes you want to be something like Marie Curie, or something like that. You want to do something like they did or maybe even better.”

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