North Carolina Sea Grant
Coastwatch Currents

Coastwatch Currents

May 27, 2016 | Terri Kirby Hathaway

By Terri Kirby Hathaway

Photos by Bill Birkemeier, In the Lens Photography

Posted May 27, 2016

Recently, I worked with a group of women to plan and conduct the Outer Banks Coastal STEAM Day. We planned a day-long event for Girl Scouts in northeast North Carolina and southeast Virginia focusing on STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Women scientist

That’s me on the left, kicking off the event — and to my left are all the wonderful scientists.

Our vision for this marine-related event had women scientists and educators sharing their knowledge, expertise and career paths with Cadettes (middle school) and Seniors (high school) on a Saturday in May.

Girls around a table

We had about 40 Girl Scouts attend the coastal STEAM event.

On the steering committee, I was joined by colleagues from the Girl Scout Council of the Colonial Coast (GSCCC), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Field Research Facility (FRF) in Duck, and the University of North Carolina’s Coastal Studies Institute (CSI), as well as some local community members.

This inaugural coastal STEAM event featured presenters from UNC CSI, FRF, Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island and Jennette’s Pier. The scientists and educators discussed energy and wind turbines, native plants and wildlife, bioacoustics, plankton, research on local dolphin populations, and coastal research using lasers and drones.

Girls looking at laptop

Lindsay Dubbs, right, explains bioacoustics — sound production and dispersal by animals.

Girls around a drone on a cart

Kate Brodie, left, offers a session titled “3D, Lasers, and Drones, Oh My!”

Girls playing with game using cards and pictures

Some girls learned about native plants and wildlife through a game led by Kathy Mitchell, center.

Two girls in front of a small wind turbine

Researchers also discussed renewable energy with the participating Girl Scouts.

GSCCC has emailed an evaluation to all attendees. The steering committee is anxious to hear the thoughts of those who participated. We’re ready to begin planning the 2017 Girl Scouts and Coastal STEAM event! We’re hoping to draw more girls next year.

Group photo of women researchers and Girl Scouts

Scientists, educators and Girl Scouts at the 2016 OBX Coastal STEAM Day.

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