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10,000 Girls Explore Science Careers


A science museum in Denver, Colorado is working to increase the number of American girls who grow up to be scientists.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science recently held a “Girls and Science Day.” The event gave over 10,000 girls the chance to meet women in science and to listen to them talk about seeking a science career.

In the United States, most scientists and engineers are men. Compared to boys, the number of girls who grow up to be scientists is low.

American educators have long noted the importance of the four fields known as STEM -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Experts believe that increasing the number of women in the STEM fields needs to start early, when girls are in middle school or when they are even younger.

For “Girls and Science Day,” the Denver Museum of Science and Nature invited more than 300 women to the museum. All of them work in science-related fields, but have different areas of expertise.

The women volunteered their time to talk with the girls and demonstrate what they do. One of the volunteers was Daniela Castaneda, an environmental engineer. She used a model to show how the city of Denver makes sure its water is safe to drink.

“And so you’ll see how the water that comes out the bottom is pretty clean. And this is what we’ll do in water treatment plants, is we’ll use filters...”

The museum gave the girls a chance to capture toy birds. Volunteer Emily Snode-Brenneman is a field biologist. She told girls and their families what she does with real birds to study their behavior.

“We actually put this little device called a radio track on them and then we actually glue it to the back, then we can track their movement.”

Another volunteer was Tinesha Ross, an aerospace engineer. She showed the girls a computer circuit board from the International Space Station. The equipment, she noted, was in need of repair.

"I’m going to put this board under the microscope, and then you let me know if it helps you see the part better, okay?”

“Okay.”

“Alright, here we go.”

Boys were also welcome at the Girls and Science Day. The museum wants girls and boys to know about the opportunities they have to become scientists.

I’m Christopher Jones-Cruise.

Shelley Schlender reported this story for VOANews.com. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted her report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

water treatment plant – n. a facility where water is cleaned before it is drunk or placed into a river or ocean

filter – n. a device that is used to remove something unwanted from a liquid or gas that passes through it

device – n. an object, machine or piece of equipment that has been made for a special purpose

glue – v. to make (something) stick to something else by using glue

track – v. to watch or follow the progress of (someone or something)

circuit board – n. a board that has many electrical circuits and that is used in a piece of electronic equipment (such as a computer)

opportunity – n. an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done

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