During the past two weeks as programs concluded for the semester, girls have been arriving to their science club with extra excitement and just a hint of sadness–“It’s the last day of clubs!”
In most clubs last day means “Science Fest” – an opportunity for girls to celebrate the semester and share what they’ve been learning with each other, their family, and school and community partners. How fitting it is that the joy of Science Fest coincides with this season of celebration.
During Science Fest each girl, regardless of age, has the opportunity to show what she’s learned. Kindergarteners guide parents and older girls through building a musical instrument, then help them recognize what is or isn’t a pattern in the sounds we make with it.
Mothers race against their daughters in a recycling relay race.
Third graders teach everyone how to use vinegar and antacid tablets as rocket fuel.
Often it’s the small moments that show us how much the girls value their clubs. We see the 2nd grader who has just received her Science Journal, where she recorded her observations and comments each week, run straight to her father to show him each page – sharing her entire semester of club experiences with him.
And the 4th grader whose suspension bridge collapsed at the last moment, but who happily explains the design, why it failed, and what she will do next time to each adult who asks about the pile of cards, straws, and string on the floor.
Each site is different, so each Science Fest looks and feels different. But the enthusiasm of the girls for sharing their experiences with others is constant. Our girls derive joy from communicating their thoughts, designs, and ideas to others – whatever happened during the activity.
As we bask in the joy of these celebrations, we thank our amazing girls, our incredible volunteer mentors, our staff, and all the supporters who make Science Club for Girls programs possible. And then, over the next few weeks, the K-5 staff become like ducks- silent above the surface, but furiously kicking their feet unobserved to make forward progress. We take the slow months of December and January while mentors and participants are enjoying their school breaks and time with family to celebrate our successes, process our challenges, and flesh out new ideas to continue to make our programs even stronger.
As with our bridge builder – the end is a new beginning.