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Expanding Science And Engineering Outreach Programs Through Cooperation With The Girl Scout Council In El Paso, Texas

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.273.1 - 3.273.4

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Paper Authors

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Rebecca L. Dodge

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Andres F. Rodriguez

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Section 1280

Expanding Science and Engineering Outreach Programs Through Cooperation with the Girl Scout Council in El Paso, Texas

Dr. Rebecca L. Dodge, Dr. Andres F. Rodriguez, University of Texas at El Paso/ University of the Pacific


In cooperation with the Girl Scout Council in El Paso, Texas, The Pan American Center for Earth and Environmental Studies (PACES) at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) instituted the Summer Science Trek program in the summer of 1996. This program was designed and presented in cooperation with Dr. Andres Rodriguez, an emeritus professor who has developed and offers a similar program at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. The goals of the program were to introduce young women to Science and Engineering concepts; to emphasize the importance of Science and Engineering to their everyday life; to present the career options available to them in these fields; to reveal the opportunities careers in these fields offer for contributions to their families and to society; and to make them aware of the academic requirements for such careers. This successful summer program led to an expanded cooperation with the Girl Scout Council. In the 1996 - 97 academic year, PACES participated in the pioneering “In-School Scouting” program in El Paso public schools, presenting science demonstrations and workshops for Scout Troops headed by school teachers in several grade schools. This was followed by participation in a summer “Space Camp” program in the public schools, which is presented by the Girl Scouts as part of the In-School Scouting Program, and by participation in a Scouting program run through local Community Centers. PACES also repeated its successful Summer Science Trek in the Summer of 1997. Participation in these programs over a twelve-month period resulted in contact with over 700 students ranging in grade level from fourth through eighth grade.

Summer Science Trek 1996 -97

The initial Summer Science Trek program was designed in consultation with Dr. Andres Rodriguez, with the assistance of PACES Program Coordinator Michelle Smith. Dr. Rodriguez has run a similar, highly successful program at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California for several years. Through his consulting input and participation in the PACES program, PACES was able to begin an effective outreach effort during its first summer program. The one-week program involved thirty Girl Scouts in hands-on, challenging activities in Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Computer Science. Through the use of simple toys, the students were exposed to the optical, mechanical, and electrical properties of materials. Using simple household items such as straws, beads, and straight pins, students constructed and operated “wind cars.” Groups of students also built and launched rockets. Throughout the program, minority University-level Science and Engineering students participated in the projects and demonstrations, serving as successful Science and Engineering role models for the Girl Scouts. These University-level students included both undergraduate and graduate-level women from the Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and GeoScience Departments. PACES

Dodge, R. L., & Rodriguez, A. F. (1998, June), Expanding Science And Engineering Outreach Programs Through Cooperation With The Girl Scout Council In El Paso, Texas Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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