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Explorit Encourages Girls in Science with AAUW Panel

This article appeared in the June 12, 2015 edition of the Davis Enterprise.

 

By Lisa Justice

Special to the Enterprise

 

On a recent Wednesday night at Explorit Science Center eleven middle school girls munched on pizza and got to hear from six women who are professional scientists about their lives and career journeys. This event, organized by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and hosted by Explorit, gave girls the chance to meet real women working in science fields and discover their own potential paths into science careers.

 

AAUW’s panel consisted of Ramona Swenson, Ph.D., Restoration Ecology Program Manager, Environmental Science Associates; Parto Aram, Founder and Director of Inspire-tech; Alinia Asmundson, Manager, Design-In Tools Store Intel; Melanie Harrison Okoro, Ph.D., Water Quality Specialist/Regional AIS Coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries; Margarita (Maggie) Rodriguez, Regulatory Affairs manager, Marrone Bio Innovations; and Paulina Zielinska, DVM, MPVM, MPH, Director of the Office for Global Programs, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

 

Each of the panelists shared about her own personal history with science and what drew her into her current field. From a childhood love of animals to reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, inspiration could be found anywhere.

 

Not everyone knew what she wanted to do from a young age, which one Holmes Junior High student found comforting. An amazing career doesn’t have to be planned from infancy; it can become the result of trying different things and being open to whatever opportunities come along, whether or not they were part of the plan.

 

The panel conversation closed with a question and answer period during which girls were encouraged to try lots of different things, learn from their mistakes and things that don’t work out, don’t be afraid to try things that are hard, and never forget to pat themselves on the back for their own unique contributions. The girls then had a chance to mingle with the panelists and other professionals present, ask all their questions and soak in the inspiration.

 

AAUW’s mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research, a goal undoubtedly achieved by this panel. Attendees went away equipped with sound advice and hopeful aspiration.

 

Explorit was very pleased to partner with AAUW to bring this event to the Davis community. In our mission to ignite and foster curiosity about science and nature through inquiry and discovery, we delight in connecting scientists with the general public and inspiring a spirit of scientific inquiry in an up-and-coming generation.

 

You can join in the science fun by liking Explorit on facebook or signing up for our enewsletter at www.explorit.org for updates on all of our activities!

 

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Explorit’s coming events:

 

  • Explorit’s Exploration Gallery is open to the public every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. and every Friday, 3:00-6:00 p.m.  Admission is $5.00 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free. Come check out the new “Our World in Water” activities!
  • Interested in helping out the community through board membership? Explorit is currently seeking individuals in the community to serve as members of our volunteer board. Please call or email for additional information on how to apply.
  • Interested in membership?  Think your Explorit membership may have lapsed?  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 to check or sign up!
  • Birthdays are back at Explorit!  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 for more information or to book your party.

 

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Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 5th St. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit http://www.explorit.org, or “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/explorit.fb.

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