Jan 14 - 2A new year has begun and the girls of Sisters 4 Science at Ariel are ready for the spring season! We have a lot of amazing women in STEM lined up this year, and the girls are very excited to get down to it! To get everyone’s feet wet, our Program Manager Jacki Carmichael came in last week to teach the girls about environmental science. Jacki has a Biological Science with Teacher’s Certification degree from Eastern Illinois University. She also used to teach for the Chicago Public Schools system, so she was very excited to get back in the classroom!

Jacki started off the lesson by asking the girls what they knew about environmental science. Amara told us that it is the study of the environment, and all of the animals that live in it, including us! Cody added that it not only included animals, but also the things that allow us to exist like plants and trees. That’s correct – everything that humans do affects the planet and the things that inhabit it, which is why global warming is such a serious issue. When asked if they knew what global warming was, Logan said, “the earth is getting hotter and it’s causing a lot of problems for animals.” That’s absolutely right! Not only that, but the effects that global warming has on animals also hurt humans as well. To illustrate the chain effect that human’s actions can have on the environment, Jacki showed the girls a clip from the The Lorax movie. When the girls were asked what they thought about the clip, they all agreed that the deforestation the Once-ler carried out for his business was bad for the environment. “If we cut down all of the trees they takes forever to grow back!”, exclaimed Antonia.

The girls were able to see just how permanent climate change can be with their activity. Everyone was given tin foil and asked to make a sail boat. When they were done building, the girls put their boats in a bucket of water and filled them with vegetable oil. When the boats got too full, they tipped over and made oil spills! The girls were then given cotton balls and asked to clean up as much oil as they could out of the water. After minutes of struggling, Haille realized that the oil was impossible get out of the water. This is exactly what Ms. Jacki wanted them to realize, as our actions always impact the earth permanently. The girls now know to always be kind to the environment!

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