February is gone? Already… time is flying by quick! It has been a great month here at Orozco, in S4S. The girls had the opportunity to meet their first STEM professional. Not only that but the girls had the chance to be a STEM professional for a day. One day they were cosmetic scientists, and another day they were personal trainers/health experts.

One of the main highlight of the month was on February 16th, when the first STEM professional came to visit. “Are those real oysters?” asked Valeria. “ Yes, they are real oysters.” replied Ms. Katherine Silliman. Ms. Katherine was our first STEM professional that visited the girls. She introduced herself to the girls, and the girls did as well. The girls learned that she was currently a PhD student at the University of Chicago studying marine biology. The girls were curious and wanted to learn more. Two of the girls Karime and Karina said, “ Wow, University of Chicago! I want to go there, one day.” Some of the other girls were curious on what specifically was Ms. Katherine studying; was she studying animals in the ocean?

Ms. Katherine explained to the girls about ocean acidification. The girls were interested, and knew the science behind an acid and a base such as it depends on the hydrogen ions if the liquid is a base or acid. Next, the girls were so eager to get to the activities, the very first they tired was using a pH indicator solution; the girls using a straw blew their own air (carbon dioxide) into their cups filled with the solution (sea water with pH indicator) and watch how the pH is affected looking at the color change. Then, the girls got oyster shells that were left sitting in different seawater ranging from different PHs for about four weeks. The girls weighed their oyster, and they calculated the change in shell mass in relation to the pH of the water their oyster was in. When the girls heard they had to use math, they were like “Awe man, math!” with fear. However, Ms. Katherine, fellow sisters, and myself, guided them. In the end, the girls were like “Oh, that was not bad at all.”

Written By: Angelina Jaimes

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