This past Saturday we partnered up with Corteva Agriscience to host our Fall Girls Inc. Day at their headquarters! We would like to extend a huge thank you to the staff at Corteva who helped make this event possible, allowing us to serve 87 girls with hands-on STEM activities.

Once arriving at Corteva, the girls were split into three different age groups before breaking off to take part in three activities. The first activity focused on DNA! With the help of the Corteva volunteers, the girls extracted DNA from strawberries. This was an “ah-ha!” moment for many of the girls as they realized all living things have DNA – not just humans. They also learned that each individual’s DNA is different, which makes us look different from everyone else! To further grasp this concept, the girls made bracelets with different colored beads representing a different trait, such as hair color, eye color, or being left or right handed.

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In the second activity, called Garbage Can Botany, the girls learned about the science of plants and concepts of food waste reduction. Corteva volunteers reviewed different types of plant reproduction, the best environments for plant growth, and how to successfully care for several varieties of plants. The girls talked about the types of food they throw away in their own homes, such as potatoes, avocado pits, and pineapple tops. The volunteers then provided a selection of food products typically seen as food waste and encouraged each girl to select two items to repurpose. The girls used their new knowledge of botany care to plant cloves of garlic, cuts of ginger, tops of carrots, papaya seeds, potato slices, and more to take home and watch grow. We ended the session thinking about ways to reduce food waste through botany in our own homes.

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Lastly, the volunteers opened the third program speaking about the importance of teamwork in all aspects of life, not just STEM careers. The girls broke into three even groups, each with a Corteva advisor, and were given sections of PVC pipe and gumballs. The goal was to develop a strategy to transport the gumballs from one side of the room to the other by only using the PVC pipe. The girls tried three times, and each time the advisors added more parameters increasing the difficulty of the task. After each try, they debriefed as a group about challenges they faced and ways to improve. The session ended by talking about what the girls learned and how they can apply these teamwork strategies to things they do in their lives now, like sports, group projects, and working with siblings.

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Thank you again to Corteva Agriscience and the employees who made this STEM program possible! Stay tuned for more information regarding our next Girls Inc. Day in the spring of 2019!