Monday, May 1, 2017

Volunteering at Discovery Place

When I was young, I did a tech camp after 9th grade. It changed my whole mindset about wanting to be an engineer. Since then, I try to do STEM volunteering whenever possible. In college, I did Girl Scout Saturdays with PSU WEP. When I first got to the Greater Charlotte Area, I knew that I wanted to find someplace to do STEM volunteering to give back to the community.

I started volunteering at Discovery Place at their Fossil Day in late 2016. I had several tables to rotate through during the day and I loved the activities that we did with the kids. My absolute favorite activity was the above pictured Thumbprint Dinosaurs. We had several samples and we taught the kids how to make something similar or let them just make their own new kind of dinosaur. Activities like this are cheap, fun, and with the right encouragement get a ton of smiles and build confidence in the kids! It was such a good way to start my volunteer experience at Discovery Place.

After that, I started working with Maggie Connelly to run the Girls in STEM weekend programs. We had different activities for each level of Girl Scout. The brownies usually do crafts and we do a lot explaining with small activities. The older the girls get, the more freedom we give them and incorporate more technology! My two most favorite activities were teaching yoga to the girls during a wellness themed Saturday and stop motion dinosaur videos with for a technology themed day.  There are so many things you can do for free or on the cheap if you have technology to rent or borrow. In this case, we used the other areas of the museums items but in real life, I will check into borrowing tech from colleges.

Working with Maggie has really lit a fire in me to work on creating cheap or free activities to do in the area where my last rotation will be located! Spaces like Discovery Place really provide a service to the community to learn about science and awaken children's senses and brains for skills that can serve them so well in the future! Thank you Maggie and Discovery Place for this wonderful experience. 

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