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Peek into Programs: Spring Biotech Clubs All Wrapped Up!

Updated: May 31

This month, we completed our Spring 2024 Biotechnology Science Clubs! With a record number of 700 participants, our young biotechnologists explored a wide-range of topics including DNA modeling, enzyme function exploration, density, and creating surgical tools. Activities included creating DNA models with candy, demonstrating the enzymatic functions of laundry detergent on dirty laundry, exploring how the body uses enzymes to digest food using crackers and water, extracting iron from food, and so much more.

With 80% of participants coming from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM, many of our girls and gender-expansive youth find community through our Science Clubs and have the opportunity to not only be inspired by their mentors, but by their peers too. Mentor Christine San Antonio reflected on her favorite memory during Clubs being Week 3 and the enzyme digestion activity. Many girls were a bit squeamish and hesitant about handling a model digestive system, but one girl who had experience working on a farm enjoyed the activity passionately. Christine shared, 

“The effect of her attitude and enthusiasm on the other girls was the best part. They were enthralled by her fearlessness and were more engaged in the activity because of it.” -Christine San Antonio, SCFG Mentor

We see how the creation of a safe space in STEM encourages our participants to push beyond fear and boundaries all in the name of learning science! Many mentors and families express how the girls and gender-expansive youth flourish and gain more confidence in their abilities to actively participate in STEM. Science Club feeds into the curiosity that they already have and allows them space to tap into that without limitations.

This is true not only in our in-person clubs, but in our virtual clubs as well! First-time mentor Tayla Cohen connected with K-2 via Zoom and when asking her group how they felt about Science Club midway through the semester she reflects, 

“One girl quickly unmuted her mic and responded, ‘I love Science Club because I feel like a real scientist, and learn more than I do in school!’ That was the most validating feeling ever [as a mentor]” -Tayla Cohen, SCFG Mentor

We are so grateful for how our nearly 190 mentors engage with our participants, at times, even going beyond the curriculum to relate to the students personally and ensure that they are grasping the material.

Staff member and previous SCFG mentor Anicia Miller visited an in-person club during Week 6, Density and Lava Lamps, and witnessed this first hand.

“Before clubs began, the mentoring group went over the activities, lessons plans, and set up for the day. At this time, one mentor thought of a visual, physical demonstration to explain density to their K-1 participants. All the girls were called to the front of the room and told to stand really close together while a mentor attempted to walk through the group to the other side of the classroom, showing the effects of high density. Then the students stood far apart, representing low density, and the mentor was able to successfully walk through the budding scientists to the other side of the room. This quick activity not only showed an interactive display of density, but also helped the girls understand the difference between density and weight as they went on to create lava lamps with oil and water.”

Thank you to all of our supporters, funders, participants, Junior Mentors, packing partners, collaborating schools, and parents and caregivers for making another successful semester. We are so excited for our upcoming Summer Rocketry Program and are already testing out our Fall 2024 Curriculum!

Stay tuned to our social media and e-newsletter for more insight into programming and all of the exciting things happening at Science Club for Girls!

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