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Scientists Inspire Girls to Pursue STEM at Physics Wonder Girls Camp

By Rosie DiGironimo

Published on July 14, 2021

Physics Wonder Girls Camp 2021Female scientists working in industry and research addressed dozens of girls participating in the 2021 Physics Wonder Girls Camp at USciences. The camp was hosted virtually this year and was offered middle school girls interested in physics. 

Josephine Palencia, a NASA Computer Scientist and IT Project Manager at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, explained how watching the stars on the roof of her childhood home in the Philippines led her to her dream job at NASA. Jessie Taylor

Diana Simcox

PhD, assistant professor of Physics at USciences, also shared how she uses physics to learn more about the Universe. Diana Sardelis Simcox PhD’13 (Biochemistry) additionally spoke to students about STEM careers for girls in the nuclear power industry and her current role at Exelon. 

Female food scientists and engineers from Puratos Corporation, Cacey Bester, PhD, a condensed matter physicist and professor at Swarthmore College, and Amanda Huon, a materials scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory shared their different roles and the endless possibilities that lie ahead for females interested in STEM. The free camp was organized by Roberto Ramos, PhD, associate professor of physics and received support from Constellation, an Exelon company, and Puratos Corporation. 

Josepine PalenciaThe rising eighth and ninth graders were selected from a pool of students nominated by science teachers in the Philadelphia-South Jersey area.  Kayla Dickert PHYS’24, Dan Fauni PHYS’23, Keeran Ramanathan PHYS’22, and Gianna Calligy BMS'23 led the teams in hands-on physics experiments and projects including focusing on solar and renewable energies, science of food, and quantum science. At the end of the camp students give group presentations on what they learned.

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