AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 67 Reaching Out with Observatories, Planeteria and Activities
Poster, Tuesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 10, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[67.01] Big Explosions, Strong Gravity: Making Girl Scouts ACEs of Space through Chandra Outreach

A. E. Hornschemeier (NASA GSFC), J. C. Lochner (USRA/NASA GSFC), R. Ganguly (U. of Wyoming), L. M. Feaga (U. of Maryland), K. E. S. Ford (Coastal Carolina University)

Thanks to two years of Chandra E/PO funding we have carried out a number of successful activities with the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, focusing on girls in the 11-17 year age range. Our reasons for targeting this age range include the general decline in interest in math and science that occurs at or after children reach this critical age (meaning that we reach them early enough to have a positive effect). We initially target girls due to their underrepresentation in science, but the actitivities are all gender-neutral and highly adaptable to other groups.

The program includes two components, in collaboration with Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. The first component is a well-established one-day Girl Scout patch activity entitled Big Explosions and Strong Gravity (BESG) where the girls earn a patch for their badge sash. The four BESG activities, mostly adapted from existing E/PO material, are available on the World Wide Web for use by others. The activities cover the electromagnetic spectrum as a tool for astronomy, the cosmic abundance of the elements and the supernova origin of many of the elements, black holes and their detection, and supernova explosions/stellar evolution. Thus far approximately 200 girls and their parents have participated in BESG and it has now become part of the council culture. The second activity is new and is part of the relatively new Girl Scout Studio 2B program, which is a girl-led program for the 11-17 year age range. Based on several meetings with small groups of girls and adults, we have formed a Studio 2B "club" called the ACE of Space Club (Astronomical Cosmic Exploration). We'll describe our experiences interacting with the Girl Scouts in this girl-led program.

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