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June 25, 2009

“Girls in Science” Summer Camp Introduces Middle School Girls to Hands-On Science

From July 6 – 10 fifteen young scientists will attend a new Burke Museum girls-only summer program designed to make science an approachable subject that the girls will feel confident pursuing throughout their lives. The program, called Girls in Science, invites girls entering 7th, 8th or 9th grade spend their days working alongside professional scientists and venturing behind the scenes of the museum to learn about science using the Burke's collections.

Throughout the week, the campers will meet working scientists and researchers in several disciplines. Activities include: practicing using fossil evidence to answer questions about the past, performing experiments with a UW atmospheric scientist to help explain weather phenomena, extracting DNA from common household foods with a Burke geneticist, and exploring the West Point archaeological site at Discovery Park with an archaeologist. At the end of the week, the girls will display projects that reflect what they've done and how their views of science have changed.

A 2008 study by vocational psychologists at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee shows that when it comes to getting middle and high school-aged girls excited about studying science, self-confidence instilled by parents and educators is more important than initial interest in the subject. The Burke Museum's Girls in Science program will help empower young women to achieve in the sciences.

Dr. Julie Stein, Executive Director of the Burke Museum, noted the importance of exposing young women to science opportunities. "I think this camp is an extremely important new direction for the Burke. I attended an all-girl high school and believe that my love of science today has at its roots a similar all-girl educational experience. I hope the girls in this camp will be inspired to love science as I was."

Girls from Seattle, Redmond, Medina, Snohomish, Bellevue, Shoreline, and Sammamish will attend the camp. To register for Girls in Science or for other Burke Museum summer programs call 206-543-9681 or visit http://www.burkemuseum.org/education/summer

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(206) 543-9762; FAX (206) 616-1274
burkepr@uw.edu