‘Science Siesta’ March 30-31, April 27-28 at Discovery Center, Burpee

Online Staff Report

University of Illinois Extension will host “Science Siesta” for fourth- to sixth-grade girls Fridays and Saturdays, March 30-31 and April 27-28, at Rockford’s Discovery Center and Burpee Museum of Natural History.

These action-packed overnights will combine the fun of a pajama party with hands-on science experiences.

Johnna Jennings, University of Extension 4-H Youth Development Educator, explained: “This is our 11th year of conducting Science Siesta. We have reached over 1,500 girls so far, and we are excited to continue to offer this fun, interactive event to encourage girls to consider science-related career fields.”

At Science Siesta, girls will have the opportunity to meet actual females in science career fields from throughout northern Illinois. The scientists will share information about their background and involve the girls in activities much like they complete in their everyday work.

Following the face-to-face interaction with female scientists, youth participate in activities based on the “Wonderwise” curriculum developed by the University of Nebraska. This curriculum highlights the work of female scientists and then translates their work into hands-on, science-based activities.

Participating girls may choose one of three workshops: African Plant Explorer, Sea Otter Biologist or Pollen Detective.

Statistics show girls are less likely to pursue degrees and careers in science and mathematics than boys. Researchers agree this is a complex problem with no easy answers, but believe there are things that can be done. They suggest having role models girls can look up to, as well as making science fun and interactive.

Both events will begin with registration at 5 p.m., Friday, and conclude with check-out at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. The registration fee is $40 per girl. The registration fee covers pizza, snack, and breakfast, admission to the Discovery Center Museum and Burpee Museum of Natural History, and all hands-on activities.

For additional information, as well as to register for either one of these Science Siesta events, go to the University of Illinois Extension website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo/ or call (815) 758-8194.

Discovery Center Museum is inside Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., and the Burpee Museum of Natural History is right next door at 737 N. Main St., Rockford.

Posted March 29, 2012

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