G.I.R.L.S. (Girls In Real Life Sciences)
G.I.R.L.S., a program of Cincinnati Museum Center, is supported by Ashland Inc. Advised Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Girls are getting excited about science with a little help from Cincinnati Museum Center!
G.I.R.L.S. (Girls In Real Life Sciences) inspires girls ages 8 to 18 years old and of all backgrounds to explore science, technology, engineering and math – and consider science as a career! By making science accessible, fun and engaging like only Cincinnati Museum Center can, participants in the G.I.R.L.S. program will be encouraged, supported, and cheered on as they join in STEM activities inside and outside of the museum all year long! All three of our museums will highlight exciting, hands-on STEM activities each month – and create an environment that specifically welcomes girls.
However, these programs are not exclusive; boys are more than welcome to participate! (And parents, too!) Girls and boys who register for the program will receive a notebook to record their experiences throughout the activities.
Throughout the year, G.I.R.L.S. partners will present lectures, lead discussions, engage girls in science activities representing their career choices and encourage girls to strive to become 21st century scientists. Sound like fun? Join us! You can sign up the next time you visit the Museum of Natural History & Science.
What are you doing in May? Here is a list of things future scientists can do!
Hydro Power – Museum of Natural History & Science
Content partnership with the Duke Energy Foundation. Learn about renewable energy solutions from Earth’s aquatic resources while discussing the pros and cons of each.
May 2 and May 30 at 2 p.m.
Butterflies! – Museum of Natural History & Science
Explore the history, life, science and art of butterflies in one of our hands-on programs!
May 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28 at 3 p.m.
Caves…A Living Laboratory – Museum of Natural History & Science
Take a guided tour of our Cave, with the lights out, to learn how they’re formed, what lives in a cave and why caves are protected. Tours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis to visitors 7 years and older accompanied by an adult. Sign-up starts at 10 a.m. at the Mastodon in the Museum of Natural History & Science.
May 4 from 3-5 p.m. and May 5 from 4-6 p.m.
Ion Impact – Museum of Natural History & Science
Discover how the presence of ions impacts conductivity.
May 9, 23 at 2 p.m.
Spectroscopy – Museum of Natural History & Science
Learn the colors of light and how astronomers and other scientists use them to learn more about the universe.
May 10, 24 at 2 p.m.
Green Gardening – Museum of Natural History & Science
Learn about sustainable gardening techniques which will improve your landscape, save you money and save the planet.
May 12 at 2 p.m.
Bridges – Museum of Natural History & Science
Explore the fields of engineering and architecture as you try your hand at some bridge building.
May 15, 17, 21 at 11 a.m.
Oil Spill! – Museum of Natural History & Science
Learn how historic oil spills and modern approaches of containment and dispersal impact our environment today. Use various tools, methods and chemicals to clean up an aquatic oil spill.
May 16, 27 at 2 p.m.
Lightning – Museum of Natural History & Science
Learn about lightning safety in this hair-raising demonstration of the power of electricity.
May 22 and May 24 at 11:00 a.m.
Explorers University: Fetal Pigs - Museum of Natural History & Science
Learn about mammal anatomy by dissecting a fetal pig; one of the best animals to study to learn about humans. Ages 9 to 15. $5 for Members; $7 for Non-Members.
May 25 at 2 p.m.
Did you know that although some butterflies wings get their color from pigments others get their color from nanoscale structures on their wings? A nano is equal to one billionth of a meter or 50,000 times smaller than the diameter of a piece of hair.
|Magnified view of nanostructures in Blue Morpho butterfly wing|
The Blue Morpho’s wings have very small overlapping scales covered with tiny "ribs." The size and arrangement of these nanostructures makes the wings look blue—but they’re actually transparent! There’s an air space of a few nanometers between the ribs.
Light waves bouncing off the top and bottom surfaces of neighboring ribs interfere with each other. Most light waves are cancelled by the interference and only certain wavelengths—seen as colors—bounce back to your eyes. So when you look at the front of the butterfly, it’s a beautiful, iridescent blue.
When the bright light passes through the Blue Morpho’s wings, the effect is lost and you see the wings’ brown undersides. The back side of the wings is colored by pigment—so the brown side always looks brown.
|Light reflecting off the wings of a Blue Morpho butterfly wing||Light passing through the wings of a Blue Morpho butterfly wing|
Some nanotechnology and nanomaterials are inspired by nature. Scientists are working on new nanotechnologies that mimic the Blue Morpho’s wings. They’ve already invented low-energy smartphone displays, paints, and fabrics that change color by changing the spacing between materials. (NISE Network. Rep. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.)
Check out this cool video from NISE network (Nanoscale Informal Science Education) about the naturally occurring nano structures on a Blue Morpho butterfly that change the way we view color.
Dr. Ruzena Bajcsy was born in Czechoslovakia in 1933. At the age of 11 all of her adult relatives were killed by the Nazis and she was taken in as an orphan by Red Cross. This tragedy did not dissuade Ruzena from her love of learning as she went on to get her Masters and PhD in electrical engineering from Slovak Technical University. In 1967 she was invited to study at Stanford University where she received a PhD in computer science.
Since then she has continued her work in the United States by teaching at different universities, authoring 225 articles, 25 book chapters and 66 technical reports, heading the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation and winning the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Comparative and Cognitive Science in 2009.
Currently, Dr. Bajcsy is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California in Berkley and Director of Emeritus for the Center of Technology Research in the Interest of Science (CITRIS). She continues to do research on machine perceptions, robotics and artificial intelligence and is considered the leader in creating world class robotics labs.
Watch an interview with Dr. Bajcsy as she talks about her work, accomplishments, inspiration and advice for young women.